Discrepancy Between Medical Decisions for Individual Patients and for Groups
Redelmeier, Donald A.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1990 Apr 19; 322(16): 1162-1164.
This study addresses the question of whether physicians make different judgments in evaluating an individual patient as compared to considering a group of similar patients. In three separate experiments, practicing physicians and undergraduate students were asked to complete questionnaires about scenarios of medical decision making involving the treatment of one person and/or a group of comparable patients. The scenarios concerned: recommending an additional test with a low cost and possible benefit; examining a patient directly rather than following progress by telephone; avoiding discussion of topics such as organ donation; and recommending a treatment with a good chance of success as well as of adverse outcome. Study data suggests that there are discrepancies between decision making by physicians for individual patients and for groups of patients. These discrepancies may have implications for clinical decision making and health policy. (KIE abstract)
Communication; Costs and Benefits; Decision Making; Drugs; Health; Health Maintenance Organizations; Hospitals; Organ Donation; Organizations; Patient Advocacy; Patient Care; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Professional Patient Relationship; Psychology; Public Policy; Questionnaires; Resource Allocation; Selection for Treatment; Statistics; Students; Survey;
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