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      Part I, Patient perspective: activating patients to engage their providers in the use of evidence-based medicine: a qualitative evaluation of the VA Project to Implement Diuretics (VAPID)

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          Abstract

          Background

          This qualitative evaluation follows a randomized-control trial of a patient activation intervention in which hypertensive patients received a letter in the mail asking them to discuss thiazide diuretics with their provider. Results of the parent study indicated that the intervention was effective at facilitating discussions between patients and providers and enhancing thiazide prescribing rates. In the research presented here, our objective was to interview patients to determine their receptivity to patient activation, a potential leverage point for implementing interventions.

          Methods

          Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with 54 patients, purposefully sampled from a randomized controlled trial of a patient activation intervention. All subjects had a history of hypertension and received primary care from one of twelve Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and reviewed by the interviewer. Interviews were independently coded by three qualitative researchers until consensus was attained, and relevant themes and responses were identified, grouped, and compared. NVivo 8.0 was used for data management and analysis.

          Results

          Data from this qualitative study revealed that most participants held favorable opinions toward the patient activation intervention used in the clinical trial. Most (82%) stated they had a positive reaction. Patients emphasized they liked the intervention because it was straightforward and encouraged them to initiate discussions with their provider. Also, by being active participants in their healthcare, patients felt more invested. Of the few patients offering negative feedback (11%), their main concern was discomfort with possibly challenging their providers' healthcare practices. Another outcome of interest was the patients' perceptions of why they were or were not prescribed a thiazide diuretic, for which several clinically relevant reasons were provided.

          Conclusion

          Patients' perceptions of the intervention indicated it was effective via the encouragement of dialogue between themselves and their provider regarding evidence-based treatment options for hypertension. Additionally, patients' experiences with thiazide prescribing discussions shed light on the facilitators and barriers to implementing clinical practice guidelines regarding thiazides as first-line therapy for hypertension.

          Trial registration

          National Clinical Trial Registry number NCT00265538

          Related collections

          Most cited references 17

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          Do increases in patient activation result in improved self-management behaviors?

          The purpose of this study is to determine whether patient activation is a changing or changeable characteristic and to assess whether changes in activation also are accompanied by changes in health behavior. To obtain variability in activation and self-management behavior, a controlled trial with chronic disease patients randomized into either intervention or control conditions was employed. In addition, changes in activation that occurred in the total sample were also examined for the study period. Using Mplus growth models, activation latent growth classes were identified and used in the analysis to predict changes in health behaviors and health outcomes. Survey data from the 479 participants were collected at baseline, 6 weeks, and 6 months. Positive change in activation is related to positive change in a variety of self-management behaviors. This is true even when the behavior in question is not being performed at baseline. When the behavior is already being performed at baseline, an increase in activation is related to maintaining a relatively high level of the behavior over time. The impact of the intervention, however, was less clear, as the increase in activation in the intervention group was matched by nearly equal increases in the control group. Results suggest that if activation is increased, a variety of improved behaviors will follow. The question still remains, however, as to what interventions will improve activation.
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            Expanding patient involvement in care. Effects on patient outcomes.

            An intervention was developed to increase patient involvement in care. Using a treatment algorithm as a guide, patients were helped to read their medical record and coached to ask questions and negotiate medical decisions with their physicians during a 20-minute session before their regularly scheduled visit. In a randomized controlled trial we compared this intervention with a standard educational session of equal length in a clinic for patients with ulcer disease. Six to eight weeks after the trial, patients in the experimental group reported fewer limitations in physical and role-related activities (p less than 0.05), preferred a more active role in medical decision-making, and were as satisfied with their care as the control group. Analysis of audiotapes of physician-patient interactions showed that patients in the experimental group were twice as effective as control patients in obtaining information from physicians (p less than 0.05). Results of the intervention included increased involvement in the interaction with the physician, fewer limitations imposed by the disease on patients' functional ability, and increased preference for active involvement in medical decision-making.
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              Better physician-patient relationships are associated with higher reported adherence to antiretroviral therapy in patients with HIV infection.

              There is little evidence to support the widely accepted assertion that better physician-patient relationships result in higher rates of adherence with recommended therapies. To determine whether and which aspects of a better physician-patient relationship are associated with higher rates of adherence with antiretroviral therapies for persons with HIV infection. Cross-sectional analysis. Twenty-two outpatient HIV practices in a metropolitan area. Five hundred fifty-four patients with HIV infection taking antiretroviral medications. We measured adherence using a 4-item self-report scale (alpha= 0.75). We measured core aspects of physician-patient relationships using 6 previously tested scales (general communication, HIV-specific information, participatory decision making, overall satisfaction, willingness to recommend physician, and physician trust; alpha > 0.70 for all) and 1 new scale, adherence dialogue (alpha= 0.92). For adherence dialogue, patients rated their physician at understanding and solving problems with antiretroviral therapy regimens. Mean patient age was 42 years, 15% were female, 73% were white, and 57% reported gay or bisexual sexual contact as their primary HIV risk factor. In multivariable models that accounted for the clustering of patients within physicians' practices, 6 of the 7 physician-patient relationship quality variables were significantly (P < .05) associated with adherence. In all 7 models worse adherence was independently associated (P < .05) with lower age, not believing in the importance of antiretroviral therapy, and worse mental health. This study showed that multiple, mutable dimensions of the physician-patient relationship were associated with medication adherence in persons with HIV infection, suggesting that physician-patient relationship quality is a potentially important point of intervention to improve patients' medication adherence. In addition, our data suggest that it is critical to investigate and incorporate patients' belief systems about antiretroviral therapy into adherence discussions, and to identify and treat mental disorders.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Implement Sci
                Implementation Science : IS
                BioMed Central
                1748-5908
                2010
                18 March 2010
                : 5
                : 23
                Affiliations
                [1 ]The Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice (CRIISP), Iowa City VA Medical Center, 601 Hwy 6 West, Mail Stop 152, Iowa City, IA, 52246-2208, USA
                [2 ]Division of General Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
                Article
                1748-5908-5-23
                10.1186/1748-5908-5-23
                2850871
                20298563
                Copyright ©2010 Pilling et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Medicine

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