An Exploratory Study of Patient Perspectives on Having One Physician Care for the Entire Family

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Abstract

This study explored patient perspectives on family-centered care by examining a specific feature of this kind of care: sharing a single physician among multiple family members. Interviews were conducted with 41 patients in a large urban family practice residency-training program in upstate New York. Six themes emerged from the qualitative analysis. Three themes defined patients' stated reasons for sharing a single physician (efficiency, improved biomedical care, and improved psychosocial care), and 3 themes characterized patients' stated reasons for not sharing a single physician (pragmatic issues, confidentiality, and neither interest nor preference). This study provides practitioners of family medicine with insight into patient perspectives of sharing a single physician among multiple family members.

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