The Impact of Patient-Centered Care on Outcomes

Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
The Journal of family practice (Impact Factor: 0.89). 10/2000; 49(9):796-804.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We designed this observational cohort study to assess the association between patient-centered communication in primary care visits and subsequent health and medical care utilization.
We selected 39 family physicians at random, and 315 of their patients participated. Office visits were audiotaped and scored for patient-centered communication. In addition, patients were asked for their perceptions of the patient-centeredness of the visit. The outcomes were: (1) patients' health, assessed by a visual analogue scale on symptom discomfort and concern; (2) self-report of health, using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36; and (3) medical care utilization variables of diagnostic tests, referrals, and visits to the family physician, assessed by chart review. The 2 measures of patient-centeredness were correlated with the outcomes of visits, adjusting for the clustering of patients by physician and controlling for confounding variables.
Patient-centered communication was correlated with the patients' perceptions of finding common ground. In addition, positive perceptions (both the total score and the subscore on finding common ground) were associated with better recovery from their discomfort and concern, better emotional health 2 months later, and fewer diagnostic tests and referrals.
Patient-centered communication influences patients' health through perceptions that their visit was patient centered, and especially through perceptions that common ground was achieved with the physician. Patient-centered practice improved health status and increased the efficiency of care by reducing diagnostic tests and referrals.

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Available from: Wayne Weston, Sep 26, 2015
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    • "Patient-centered communication entails the physician adopts the patient's perspective, addresses emotional aspects and shows empathy, as well as taking shared decisions and establishing a partnership in the physicianpatient relationship [1] [2]. Physicians who adopt such a patient-centered interaction style have patients with better subjective and objective medical consultation outcomes (e.g., satisfaction, trust, adherence, health improvement [3] [4] [5] [6]). However, the findings are not unequivocal and some studies show contradictory or inconsistent results with respect to the benefit of patient-centered physician communication for patient outcomes [7] [8] [9]. "
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    • "Two systematic reviews conducted recently have also shown similar results of improved health status and better patient satisfaction [9] [10]. A study conducted by Stewart et al. found that person-centered practice leads to improved health status and better patient satisfaction [11]. The Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) stretches from Morocco in the West to Pakistan in the East. "
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