Patients' Choices and Perceptions After an Invitation to Participate in Treatment Decisions
England, Stephanie Legg
Social Science and Medicine. 1992; 34(11): 1217-1225.
Previous [re]search indicates that treatment outcomes may be improved if patients perceive greater control over their treatment, but the practical implications of encouraging patients to take more control have not been investigated. The present study investigated responses of 143 patients in a cardiovascular risk management clinic to an invitation to make a decision about their treatment. Subjects' choices of the target behaviour for their behaviour-change treatment were highly predictable from their state of health, reasons for coming to the clinic, what behaviours they were told they were at risk from, and contacts with health workers. The degree of control that subjects reported they had over the decision varied considerably, being negatively related to blood pressure and positively related to the degree of control that subjects believed they had over their health in general. Issues such as time-demands, the practitioner's job satisfaction, and ethical implications of patient participation are discussed.
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