Background: Congruence between patients and providers preferred healthcare role orientations has been shown to be important for improved clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Thus, it is important to know how different patient and provider populations might vary in preferred role orientations. Objective: To measure the range of role orientation preferences among patients and providers in two different general medicine clinic populations. Methods: Role orientation preferences of patients (n = 319) and providers (n = 151) in six Veterans Administration (VA) primary care clinics and two university-based primary care clinics were measured in a cross sectional survey using the 9-item Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) sharing subscale among patients and providers. Results: VA patients had lower mean PPOS scores (i.e. more provider-centered role preference) than the university clinic patients (31.2 vs 39.7, respectively; p < 0.001). The difference remained significant even after adjusting for age, sex, and education. VA and university clinic providers had similar mean PPOS scores (41.5 vs 42.6, respectively; p = 0.27). Greater differences were found in mean PPOS scores between VA patients and their providers (31.2 vs 41.5, respectively; p < 0.001) than university clinic patients and their providers (39.7 vs 42.6, respectively; p = 0.12). Conclusions: VA patients reported preferences for a more provider-centered role than university clinic patients and there was greater mean difference in preferred role orientations between VA patients and their providers than between university clinic patients and their providers. Differences in preferred role orientations by patients and providers should be considered when designing clinical initiatives and research to improve patient care.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work reported here was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and Development Service (IMV 04-066-1). Dr Kaboli is supported by a Research Career Development Award from the Health Services Research and Development Service, Department of Veterans Affairs (RCD 03-033-1). Dr Baldwin is a VA HSR&D Post-Doctoral Fellow in CRIISP at the Iowa City VA Medical Center. Dr Ishani is supported by the Center for Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Minneapolis VAMC.