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Patient involvement in decision-making: a cross-sectional study in a Malaysian primary care clinic
  1. Ranjini Ambigapathy,
  2. Yook Chin Chia,
  3. Chirk Jenn Ng
  1. Department of Primary Care Medicine, University of Malaya Primary Care Research Group (UMPCRG), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ranjini Ambigapathy; ranjini_ambigapathy{at}yahoo.com

Abstract

Objective Shared decision-making has been advocated as a useful model for patient management. In developing Asian countries such as Malaysia, there is a common belief that patients prefer a passive role in clinical consultation. As such, the objective of this study was to determine Malaysian patients’ role preference in decision-making and the associated factors.

Design A cross-sectional study.

Setting Study was conducted at an urban primary care clinic in Malaysia in 2012.

Participants Patients aged >21 years were chosen using systematic random sampling.

Methods Consenting patients answered a self-administered questionnaire, which included demographic data and their preferred and actual role before and after consultation. Doctors were asked to determine patients’ role preference. The Control Preference Scale was used to assess patients’ role preference.

Primary outcome Prevalence of patients’ preferred role in decision-making.

Secondary outcomes (1) Actual role played by the patient in decision-making. (2) Sociodemographic factors associated with patients’ preferred role in decision-making. (3) Doctors’ perception of patients’ involvement in decision-making.

Results The response rate was 95.1% (470/494). Shared decision-making was preferred by 51.9% of patients, followed by passive (26.3%) and active (21.8%) roles in decision-making. Higher household income was significantly associated with autonomous role preference (p=0.018). Doctors’ perception did not concur with patients’ preferred role. Among patients whom doctors perceived to prefer a passive role, 73.5% preferred an autonomous role (p=0.900, κ=0.006).

Conclusions The majority of patients attending the primary care clinic preferred and played an autonomous role in decision-making. Doctors underestimated patients’ preference to play an autonomous role.

  • PRIMARY CARE
  • DECISION-MAKING
  • PATIENT PREFERENCE
  • PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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