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Do physicians care about patient choice?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. (Health Services Research)
2008 (English)In: Social Science and Medicine, ISSN 0277-9536, E-ISSN 1873-5347, Vol. 67, no 10, 1502-1511 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new policy (patient choice) was introduced in Sweden in the early 1990s to give patients the right to choose their healthcare providers, however, evaluations show that few patients exercise this right. This paper analyses physicians' roles in putting the patient choice policy into effect. To examine attitudes, knowledge and behaviour among physicians, a questionnaire was sent to 960 physicians in one of the most populous counties in Sweden. The results show that the physicians approve of the policy, yet only a minority state that they regularly help patients to choose healthcare providers by giving them information and letting them choose where they will be referred. Instead, referrals are mostly based on medical grounds; the patient's wish to choose a specific provider is considered less important. In summary, we found that more than a decade after the policy was introduced, only a minority of physicians act according to the political intention. This could be one explanation for why many patients still do not exercise their right to choose a hospital.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 67, no 10, 1502-1511 p.
Keyword [en]
Patient choice, Implementation, Medical professional role, Patient rights, Patient empowerment, Sweden, Referral, Physician role
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Health Care Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-102867DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.07.016PubMedID: 18786753OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-102867DiVA: diva2:216921
Available from: 2009-05-12 Created: 2009-05-12 Last updated: 2010-07-29Bibliographically approved

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Winblad, Ulrika
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