This study found an association between improved physician-patient relationships and improved patient-reported health status. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University found over a one-year period that while consistent access to a provider is important, the quality of each clinical encounter is equally as important in shaping a patient's reported overall health outcomes, as measured by the SF-12 quality of life questionnaire.
The authors also found some evidence that adults with five or more diagnosed conditions experience physician-patient relationships that are significantly lower in quality than those reported by adults without multimorbidity. This discrepancy may reflect unmet physician-patient relationship needs among adults bearing multimorbidity burdens and indicate another opportunity for intervention. The study findings can potentially inform health care strategies and health policy aimed at improving patient-centered health outcomes.
Assessing the Longitudinal Impact of Physician-Patient Relationship on Functional Health
R. Henry Olaisen, MPH, PhD, et al
Case Western Reserve University, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Cleveland, Ohio