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Observational Study Of Effect Of Patient Centredness And Positive Approach On Outcomes Of General Practice Consultations

Paul Little, Hazel Everitt, Ian Williamson, Greg Warner, Michael Moore, Clare Gould, Kate Ferrier and Sheila Payne
BMJ: British Medical Journal
Vol. 323, No. 7318 (Oct. 20, 2001), pp. 908-911
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25468185
Page Count: 4
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Observational Study Of Effect Of Patient Centredness And Positive Approach On Outcomes Of General Practice Consultations
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Abstract

Objective To measure patients' perceptions of patient centredness and the relation of these perceptions to outcomes. Design Observational study using questionnaires. Setting Three general practices. Participants 865 consecutive patients attending the practices. Main outcome measures Patient's enablement, satisfaction, and burden of symptoms. Results Factor analysis identified five components. These were communication and partnership (a sympathetic doctor interested in patients' worries and expectations and who discusses and agrees the problem and treatment, Cronbach's α = 0.96); personal relationship (a doctor who knows the patient and their emotional needs, α = 0.89); health promotion (α = 0.87); positive approach (being definite about the problem and when it would settle, α = 0.84); and interest in effect on patient's life (α = 0.89). Satisfaction was related to communication and partnership (adjusted β = 19.1; 95% confidence interval 17.7 to 20.7) and a positive approach (4.28; 2.96 to 5.60). Enablement was greater with interest in the effect on life (0.55; 0.25 to 0.86), health promotion (0.57; 0.30 to 0.85), and a positive approach (0.82; 0.52 to 1.11). A positive approach was also associated with reduced symptom burden at one month (β = -0.25; -0.41 to -0.10). Referrals were fewer if patients felt they had a personal relationship with their doctor (odds ratio 0.70; 0.54 to 0.90). Conclusions Components of patients' perceptions can be measured reliably and predict different outcomes. If doctors don't provide a positive, patient centred approach patients will be less satisfied, less enabled, and may have greater symptom burden and higher rates of referral.

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