Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Difficult' patients more likely to experience worse symptoms

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
'Difficult' patient-clinician encounters have a negative impact on patients' health outcomes in the short-term, according to a new study. Nearly 18 percent of patients are perceived as difficult by their physicians and are less likely to trust or be satisfied with their doctor. Importantly, these patients are also more likely to report worse symptoms two weeks after the consultation.

'Difficult' patient-clinician encounters have a negative impact on patients' health outcomes in the short-term, according to a new study by Sheri Hinchey from the Tripler Army Medical Centre in Honolulu and Jeffrey Jackson from the Zablocki VA Medical Centre in Milwaukee. Their findings show that nearly 18 percent of patients are perceived as difficult by their physicians and are less likely to trust or be satisfied with their doctor. Importantly, these patients are also more likely to report worse symptoms two weeks after the consultation.

Hinchey and Jackson's work has just been published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

To date, the majority of studies looking at 'difficult' patients has focused on patient characteristics alone. Hinchey and Jackson's work builds on the existing research by looking at a fuller picture, taking into account both patient and clinician factors associated with being considered 'difficult', as well as assessing the impact on patient health outcomes.

A total of 750 adults who attended a primary care walk-in clinic took part. Before the consultation, the authors assessed their symptoms, expectations, general health, how they functioned physically, socially and emotionally as well as whether these adults had mental disorders. Immediately after their visit, participants were asked about their satisfaction with the encounter, any unmet expectations as well as their levels of trust in their doctor. Two weeks later, symptoms were checked again. In addition, clinicians were asked to rate how difficult the encounter was after each visit.

The authors found that nearly 18 percent of patients were perceived as 'difficult'. Both patient and physician characteristics contributed to 'difficult' encounters. In particular, 'difficult' patients had more symptoms, worse functional status, used the clinic more frequently and were more likely to have an underlying psychiatric disorder than non-difficult patients. Clinicians with a more open communication style and those with more experience reported fewer difficult encounters.

As a result, patients emerging from difficult encounters were less satisfied, had lower trust in their clinician and a greater number of unmet expectations. Two weeks later, they were also more likely to experience worsening of their symptoms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sherri A. Hinchey, Jeffrey L. Jackson. A Cohort Study Assessing Difficult Patient Encounters in a Walk-In Primary Care Clinic, Predictors and Outcomes. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1620-6

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "'Difficult' patients more likely to experience worse symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126081603.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2011, January 27). 'Difficult' patients more likely to experience worse symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126081603.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "'Difficult' patients more likely to experience worse symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126081603.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins