Patient perception of the value of the clinical encounter

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Title Patient perception of the value of the clinical encounter
Year 2002
CREOD Investigators Sonia Butalia, Linn Holness
CREOD Research Program Occupational Skin Disease
Research Theme Health Services – utilization
Funder Unfunded
Product Type Student Research Project – clinical
Background There is little information regarding the health service utilization of patients with possible work-related contact dermatitis. There is also limited information regarding patient satisfaction with care.
Study Focus (Research Question/Goals/
Methods)
The objectives of the study were to explore health service utilization and perceived helpfulness of care for patients with possible work-related contact dermatitis.

Patients attending the OHC at SMH over a two month period were surveyed to collect information related to health service utilization and the perceived helpfulness of care in 2002.

Key Findings Sources of health care prior to the clinic visit were reported as follows:

  • 36% used workplace based health services.
  • 95% had seen their family physician (20% more than 5 times).
  • 36% had seen a dermatologist (15% more than 5 times).

The patients reported that 5% of family physicians and 36% of dermatologists had asked about workplace exposures.

43% of patients reported that the visits with either the family physician or dermatologist helped them to understand their problem. There was a relationship between satisfaction with care and shorter length of time with symptoms.

Implications for Health/Labour Policy and Practice Patients with possible work-related contact dermatitis utilize significant health care resources.  The minority of patients felt the assessments preceding their visit to our clinic had helped them understand or solve their problem.  As this was strongly linked to length of time with symptoms, which is also related to prognosis, it points out that earlier identification and referral for definitive diagnosis may both improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Publication Information Publications

  • Butalia S, Holness DL. Workers’ health care utilization and perception of helpfulness of care: a pilot study. Amn J Contact Dermatitis 2003;14:115.

Presentations

  • Butalia S, Holness DL. Workers’ health care utilization and perception of helpfulness of care: a pilot study. American Contact Dermatitis Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, March 2003.