A study of priorities for care among 225 patients attending the medical clinics of a university teaching hospital disclose the importance patients attach to various aspects of their medical care when their options are constrained.
Eight attributes of medical care were considered: continuity, coordination, comprehensiveness, availability, convenience, cost,expertise, and compassion.
Continuity of care was the highest priority for these patients, while cost and convenience were lowest. Priorities varied in subgroups of patients defined by demographic, illness, and utilization characteristics.
Patients with acute problems preferred coordination and expertise, while those with chronic problems ranked continuity higher.
Patients younger than 30 years old valued coordination most; older patients preferred continuity and comprehensiveness.
This information emphasize that patient' priorities should be considered when planning health services.
This information is from a study in high-income country, but it may be also useful for countries in other socioeconomic levels.
See reference for more information.
Fletcher RH et al. Patients' priorities for medical care. Med Care. 1983 Feb; 21(2):234-42.