oa African Journal of Health Professions Education - Patient-centred continuing professional development for Canadian physicians
Introduction. Improving clinical practice skills can enhance a patient-centred model of health care. The objectives of this study were to discover if physicians consider learning about elements of patient-centred care important, and whether the perceived importance is influenced by choice of medical speciality practised and/or number of years in clinical practice.
Methods. Of 310 surveys returned, a total of 268 physicians from one province in Canada were studied. On average, the participants had 16 years of practice experience with family medicine making up the largest component of the study cohort - 41%. Physicians were asked how useful learning about specific topics would be to improve their communication with patients from different cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds. The self-report measures were examined using mean differences among specialities, gender, and correlation with years in clinical practice.
Results. The mean scores were above the scale midpoint for all specialities. The correlation data indicated a negative relationship between years in clinical practice and 2 of the 6 variables studied. Women physicians rated learning about patients' health beliefs higher than men but men rated patient communication skills higher than women.
Discussion. Physicians rated the importance of incorporating principles of patient-centred care into their clinical practice highly, suggesting that they may benefit from practice interventions such as reflection.
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