Christina Bethman: The Influence of Patient Goals on Patient Behavior During Primary Care Visits for URTIs
From Emily Bush-Clark on April 14th, 2020
Understanding a patient’s goals, prior to and during a primary care visit for an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTIs), is essential to predicting the patient’s influence behaviors during the interaction with their provider. The current study is a quantitative analysis of the co-occurrence of patient goals, and influence behaviors that correspond to these goals. The two outcomes assessed were the relationship between patient goals, as well as, the relationship between patient goals and the patient’s influence behaviors during the course of their visit with a provider. The patient goals were divided into 4 subcategories that are as follows: get diagnosis, get antibiotic, achieve improvement in health, and get prescription/treatment other than an antibiotic. In figure 3, we see that these goals were found to have an inverse relationship, particularly in the case of “getting a diagnosis” and “achieving improvement in health”, as those patients who had the goal of “getting a diagnosis” were much less likely to report the goal of “achieving improvement in health” and vice versa. We also see that when a patient has a particular goal they are much more likely to influence their provider to seek convergence of their goal and treatment. In figure 4, when a patient had the goal of achieving antibiotics contingent on bacterial diagnosis they were more likely to suggest a certain kind of treatment to their provider. Figure 4 also shows us that inversely, if there is an absence of a particular goal, there is less agency when a patient is attempting to influence their provider. This research is particularly important because it gives providers a better understanding of patient goals and their function in an interaction, and helps providers understand how to adapt to these particular goals. The most meaningful and compelling aspect of this research for me is seeing how theoretical principles come to life as heuristics within an interaction between a doctor and patient. These principles can be used further to show how the relationship between goals and actions could be beneficial when engaging in doctor-patient shared decision making.