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Preferences, predictions and patient enablement: a preliminary study

Preferences, predictions and patient enablement: a preliminary study

Bmc Family Practice 14(): 116-116

The widely used patient enablement instrument (PEI) is sometimes contrasted against measures of patient satisfaction as being a more objective measure of consultation quality, in that it is less likely to be positively influenced by fulfilling pre-existing expectations for specific consultation outcomes (such as prescriptions or referrals). However the relationship between expectation and enablement is underexplored, as is the relationship between 'expectation' understood as a patient preference for outcome, and patient prediction of outcome. The aims of the study are to 1) assess the feasibility of measuring the relationship between expectation fulfilment and patient enablement, and 2) measure the difference (if any) between expectation understood as preference, and expectation understood as prediction. A questionnaire study was carried out on 67 patients attending three General Practices in the Australian Capital Territory. Patient preferences and predictions for a range of possible outcomes were recorded prior to the consultation. PEI and the actual outcomes of the consultation were recorded at the conclusion of the consultation. Data analysis compared expectation fulfilment as concordance between the preferred, predicted, and actual outcomes, with the PEI as a dependant variable. No statistically significant relationship was found between either preference-outcome concordance and PEI, or prediction-outcome concordance. Statistically insignificant trends in both cases ran counter to expectations; i.e. with PEI (weakly) positively correlated with greater discordance. The degree of concordance between preferred outcomes and predicted outcomes was less than the concordance between either preferred outcomes and actual outcomes, or predicted outcomes and actual outcomes. The relationship between expectation fulfilment and enablement remains uncertain, whether expectation is measured as stated preferences for specific outcomes, or the predictions made regarding receiving such outcomes. However the lack of agreement between these two senses of 'patient expectation' suggests that explicitly demarcating these concepts during study design is strongly advisable.

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Accession: 055116689

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PMID: 23941606

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-14-116

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