Relationships of Processes of Care to Patient Outcomes

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This study examined relationships between process and outcome components of patient care. Relationships were determined between independent process variables—diagnostic approach, therapeutic approach, and patient compliance—and dependent outcome variables—functional status, clinical health status, perception of health and care, and knowledge and understanding of disease and therapy. Criteria for process and outcome dimensions were developed, based on a literature review. Data on 103 patients, followed for a five-month period, were collected by use of patient record audit and beginning- and end-of-study patient interviews. Cross-tabulations and multiple regression analysis were used to determine relationships between independent and dependent variables. Analysis of variance was used to determine difference in provider and patient process dimensions according to patient severity groups. Significant relationships were found between all independent variables and the dependent variables of clinical health status and knowledge and understanding of disease and therapy. Patient compliance level was found to be the most significant process variable.

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