Information Given to Patients and Their Participation in Clinical Decision-Making
ALEJANDRE LÁZARO G, LÓPEZ DE CASTRO F, BARCA FERNÁNDEZ I, PAREJO MIGUEZ R, GUTIÉRREZ MARTÍN P, FERNÁNDEZ ALARCÓN F
Atención Primaria 2004;33(7): 361-364
Resumen del Autor:
Objectives. To evaluate the information provided by physicians during consultations, the information requested by patients, and patients' participation in decision-making. Design. Descriptive, cross-sectional study based on observations of visits to the doctor´s office and subsequent telephone interview. Setting. Primary care centers in Toledo, Spain. Participants. 152 clinical interviews. Interventions. Questionnaire with items on age, sex, types of information provided by the physician, information requested by the patient, and evaluation of the patient's participation in decision-making and degree of satisfaction. Main measures and results. Mean age of the patients was 41.1 years, and 55.9% were women. The type of information given most frequently to patients was related to treatment (88.3%). Of the 152 patients whose visits were observed, 55 (36.2%) did not request additional information. The information requested most frequently when not provided spontaneously by the
physician concerned treatment (35.3%) and cause of the symptoms (29.7%). Almost all patients (94.0%) considered the information received to be sufficient. However, 22.7% stated that when they left the doctor´s office there was something they wished they had asked about, and 18.6% said they understood the doctor´s explanations "in part." According to the observers, 69.4% of the patients did not take part in the decision about their treatment. Conclusions. The information provided by the physician was not as complete as it might have been. Patients usually ask few questions, and a large percentage of patients had something they wished they had asked about, or did not fully understand the information. Patients´ participation in decision-making was low.
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