Clinical Competence of Family Physicians
The Patient Perspective
Arch G. Mainous III, PhD;
Alan K. David, MD
Arch Fam Med. 1992;1(1):65-68.
This study examines the attitudes and perceptions of patients regarding the clinical competence of family physicians.
Telephone survey employing probability sampling (random-digit dialing).
A sample of adults living in Kentucky.
Data come from a sample of 650 completed calls (64% response rate).
Ninety-three percent of the patients reported having a physician who provides primary health care. Only 1% of those with a physician listed a specialist as their source of care. Patients generally agree that family physicians are clinically competent to handle common medical problems. Of 11 investigated conditions, depression and heart disease were the conditions with the lowest reported patient confidence. A stepwise logistic regression model indicated that the quality of care provided by one's primary care physician was the only significant predictor of patient confidence in the competence of family physicians.
These results suggest that patients believe family physicians are competent to treat a wide variety of common medical problems.
From the Department of Family Practice, Kentucky Clinic, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington (Dr Mainous), and the Department of Family Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr David).
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Mainous and Matheny
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