Are they thinking alike? Back pain patients and doctors expectations: A feasibility study
Authors: Georgy, E.E., Carr, E.C.J. and Breen, A.C.
Journal: World Family Medicine Journal incorporating the Middle East Journal of Family Medicine
Background and objectives: Patient-doctor agreement is believed to promote the quality of interaction and satisfaction; yet, up to date, no study has attempted to investigate the matching of back pain patients' and doctors' expectations, nor is there a valid measurement tool. This study aims to explore the feasibility of using a newly designed questionnaire for investigating the congruence of patients' and doctors' expectations in relation to back pain consultation.
Methods: A 26-item questionnaire was developed and was given to 20 patients and 11 doctors to rank their objective of the encounter and report their agreement with the expectation statements. Responses were compared to investigate the matching of patients' and doctors' expectations.
Findings: Diagnosis, explanation of the problem, and referrals were the most important aspects for patients; explanation, effective pain relief, and information were common expectations for doctors. Patients agreed with doctors about most aspects of the consultation except for referrals, ability of doctor to help without referrals, as well as items related to sharing the reason for the encounter.
Conclusion: The study reveals some areas of mismatch that might adversely affect the consultation. Further research is needed to consolidate these results and to establish the significance of matched expectations.