Patients Value Technical Quality of Care Most

March 11, 2008

Although patients place high value on patient-centered care, they place more value on continuity of care and the technical quality of their consultation with a physician, according to study findings published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

TUESDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients place high value on patient-centered care, they place more value on continuity of care and the technical quality of their consultation with a physician, according to study findings published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Sudeh Cheraghi-Sohi, of the University of Manchester in Manchester, U.K., and colleagues conducted a discrete choice experiment with 1,193 patients recruited from six family practices in England, who were asked to rate the priority of ease of access, flexibility of appointment times, continuity of care by the same doctor, a thorough physical examination and various aspects of patient-centered care, such as interest in social and emotional well-being. Priority was gauged by how much respondents were willing to pay for each aspect of the consultation.

The investigators found that technical quality ranked the highest by far, with respondents willing to pay $40.87 for a thorough physical examination. The next highest priority was continuity of care at $12.18, followed by seeing a friendly physician at $8.50, waiting time reduced by one day at $7.22 and flexible appointment times at $6.71. Patient care attributes were rated as being worth between $12.06 and $14.82, the report indicates.

"Responses were influenced by the scenario in which the decision was made (minor physical problems versus urgent physical problem versus ambiguous physical or psychological problem) and by patients' demographic characteristics," the authors write. "Discrete choice experiments may be a useful method for assessing patients' priorities in health care," the authors conclude.

AbstractFull Text

Copyright © 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.