Is Consulting Patients About Their Health Service Preferences a Useful Exercise?

Julia Lawton, David Rankin, Jackie Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As part of the shift toward patient-centered care, patients are increasingly being consulted about their preferences for health services and interventions, including those explored during randomized controlled trials (RCTs), to ensure that service recommendations are aligned to their own circumstances and needs. Hence, we interviewed patients (N = 40) who participated in a randomized control trial comparing diabetes education courses delivered using two different formats to establish whether, and why, they preferred one format to the other, to inform recommendations for future course delivery. Not only did patients report changing their preferences, and the reasons underlying these preferences, over time, but all patients also claimed to prefer the particular course they had attended. We use our findings and experiences to problematize the notion of a patient preference and to raise questions about what we can really learn from consulting patients about the care they receive within the context of an RCT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-886
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

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