Patient-physician agreement in prioritising existing chronic conditions


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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When asked to identify and rank a patient's most important chronic conditions, there is only modest agreement between patients and their physicians, suggests a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine

The study included 233 patients recruited from 16 practices in France and their general practitioners (GPs). The participants were asked to report the patient's chronic conditions from a list of 124 items and to rank the three most important conditions.

The study found agreement between the numbers of conditions reported by patients and GPs was moderate. Agreement between patients and physicians also varied by condition and was stronger for conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes and poorer for anxiety and sleep issues.

Among 153 patient-GP pairs where both the patient and GP wrote a priority list, 29.4 per cent of patients’ first priorities did not appear anywhere on the corresponding GPs’ lists and 12.4 per cent of pairs had no matching priority condition. 

The authors said the findings suggest the need for more patient-centred care for patients with various chronic conditions. “The pursuit of patient-centred care might require a shift in how our models of care are designed to help physicians and patients build a therapeutic alliance and a better partnership,” they concluded. 

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