Master of Clinical Science
Aims: This thesis explored Japanese patients’ preference for Patient-centered medicine, which was one of the core principles of family medicine, and its association with the satisfaction of patients with their family physicians.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted to examine Japanese patients’ preference for 3 factors of Patient-centered medicine and their satisfaction with the practice by family physicians, using patient questionnaires pre and post consultation.
Findings: The majority of Japanese patients preferred all 3 of the factors of Patient-centered medicine: Communication, Partnership and Health Promotion. The more vulnerable the patients, the more their expressed preference. A high proportion of patients were satisfied with the consultation provided by family physicians, and the groups of patients who were strongly satisfied were more likely to prefer “Partnership”.
Conclusion: The majority of Japanese patients, especially the vulnerable, preferred Patient-centered medicine and were satisfied with the consultation provided by family physicians. And, the importance of the ‘Partnership” component of patient centered practice was shown in Japan as it has been in literature from Western countries.
Summary for Lay Audience
In Western countries of the world, Patient-centered medicine and patient satisfaction have been studied. Because of these studies, the concept of Patient-centered medicine has become a really important part of the practice and education about primary care and family practice. But in non-western countries, such as Japan, there are very few papers on this topic. Now the role of Family medicine / Primary care is changing in Japan because of the aging population and large use of specialist medicine. So, we want to assess how important patients think Patient-centered medicine is in Japan and to see if it is connected to patients’ satisfaction with their care by family doctors.
Before their visit with the family physician, patients were asked about how much they wantedPatient-centered care. After the visit, patients were asked about their satisfaction with the visit. Both were associated with patient characteristics and they were correlated with each other.
In general, more than 80% of patients wanted each of the three factors of Patient-centered medicine: Communication, Partnership and Health Promotion. The more vulnerable the patients (higher age, more anxiety and feeling more ill), the more they expressed preference for all three factors: patient-centered Communication, Partnership and Health Promotion. Many patients were satisfied with the visit provided, and the groups of patients who were strongly satisfied were more likely to prefer “Partnership”.
According to these findings, Patient-centered medicine is preferred in Japan which is a non-Western country to the same extent as in Western country like the UK. As well, Japanese patients were satisfied with the consultation provided by family doctors. This finding provides evidence for the usefulness of Patient-centered medicine in Japan.And, the importance of ‘Partnership” is shown not only in a Western country but also in Japan. Based on the findings, it is important for family doctors to build strong partnerships with patients, have good communication in daily practice and sometimes provide health promotion, especially for vulnerable patients such as the elderly, patients with anxiety and patients feeling ill. It is also important to teach Patient-centered medicine from the beginning of learning in medical school to residency training toward family medicine board-certification.
Kusaba, Tesshu, "Japanese patients' preference for Patient-centered medicine and its association with the satisfaction of patients with their family physicians" (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6596.
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