Healthcare Business News

More patients say they question docs: study

By Ashok Selvam
Posted: October 7, 2011 - 2:00 pm ET

Most patients in America report questioning their doctors before undergoing tests and asking about potential side effects from medications, a recently released study finds.

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About 73% of respondents said they always or often ask their doctor or medical professional to explain why they need a test, and 67% of patients said they ask doctors about risks or side effects from medicine, according to an e-mailed news release about the 2011 Health Confidence Survey. The Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates—a Washington-based market research firm—administered the survey.

The responses showed little change from 2008 results, with four exceptions: a 9-percentage point spike in patients who said they ask about less costly treatments and medicines, an 11-percentage-point increase in patients who take a list of symptoms to their appointment, a 6-percentage-point increase in patients who ask about the success rate of treatments and a 10-percentage-point increase in patients who say they always or often take to their visit a list of their medications.

This is the 14th year of the annual survey, which was published in September's EBRI Notes (PDF).

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