Physicians' Characteristics Influence Patients' Adherence to Medical Treatment

Results from the Medical Outcomes Study

by M. Robin DiMatteo, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Ron D. Hays, Lynn Ordway, Richard L. Kravitz, Elizabeth A. McGlynn, Sherrie Kaplan, William H. Rogers

The influence of physicians' attributes and practice style on patients' adherence to treatment was examined in a 2-year longitudinal study of 186 physicians and their diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease patients. A physician-level analysis was conducted, controlling for baseline patient adherence rates and for patient characteristics predictive of adherence in previous analyses. General adherence and adherence to medication, exercise, and diet recommendations were examined. Baseline adherence rates were associated with adherence rates 2 years later. Other predictors were physician job satisfaction (general adherence), number of patients seen per week (medication), scheduling a follow-up appointment (medication), tendency to answer patients' questions (exercise), number of tests ordered (diet), seriousness of illness (diet), physician specialty (medication, diet), and patient health distress (medication, exercise).

Originally published in: Health Psychology, v. 12, no. 2, 1993, pp. 93-102.

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