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Fam Med. 2009 Feb;41(2):126-33.

Patient age influences perceptions about health care communication.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA. devoej@ohsu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The study's objective was to determine if a patient's age is independently associated with how he/she perceives interactions with health care providers.

METHODS:

We used a secondary, cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative data from the 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). We measured the independent association between patient age and six outcomes pertaining to communication and decision-making autonomy, while simultaneously controlling for gender, race, ethnicity, family income, educational attainment, census region, rural residence, insurance status, and usual source of care.

RESULTS:

Compared to patients>or=65 years, patients ages 18-64 were less likely to report that their provider "always" listened to them, "always" showed respect for what they had to say, and "always" spent enough time with them.

DISCUSSION:

Patient perceptions of health care interactions vary by age. A better understanding of how and why age is associated with patient-provider communication could be useful to design practice-level interventions that enhance services and also to develop national policies that improve health care delivery and health outcomes.

PMID:
19184691
PMCID:
PMC4918755
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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