Having one personal doc might lead to unnecessary health screenings: Study

The findings of a recent study by the University of Florida suggested that male patients who have a single general physician were more likely to receive a prostate cancer screening test during a period when the test was not recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Patient care by a single primary care physician is associated with many health benefits, including increased treatment adherence and decreased hospital admissions and mortality risk. But can the relationship built between doctor and patient also lead to unnecessary care? The study, which appears in Frontiers in Medicine, is the first to explore whether continuity of care may lead to patients complying with recommendations for low-value or even harmful care for any condition.

“The results show that the trust between a doctor and a patient is a strong bond, but it emphasises that it is important that physicians practice evidence-based care,” said Arch G. Mainous III, PhD, the study’s lead author and a professor in the department of health services research, management and policy at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions.

“Patients look to their physician to act in their best interest and so physicians need to take that trust and provide the best care possible.”


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