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BMC Health Serv Res. 2006 Feb 28;6:21.

Information and shared decision-making are top patients' priorities.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge University, UK. as655@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The profound changes in medical care and the recent stress on a patient-centered approach mandate evaluation of current patient priorities.

METHODS:

Hospitalized and ambulatory patients at an academic medical center in central Israel were investigated. Consecutive patients (n = 274) indicated their first and second priority for a change or improvement in their medical care out of a mixed shortlist of 6 issues, 3 related to patient-physician relationship (being better informed and taking part in decisions; being seen by the same doctor each time; a longer consultation time) and 3 issues related to the organizational aspect of care (easier access to specialists/hospital; shorter queue for tests; less charges for drugs).

RESULTS:

Getting more information from the physician and taking part in decisions was the most desirable patient choice, selected by 27.4% as their first priority. The next choices - access and queue - also relate to more patient autonomy and control over that of managed care regulations. Patients studied were least interested in continuity of care, consultation time or cost of drugs. Demographic or clinical variables were not significantly related to patients' choices.

CONCLUSION:

Beyond its many benefits, being informed by their doctor and shared decision making is a top patient priority.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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