Do patients and physicians agree on diabetes management? A study conducted in Public Healthcare Centres in Brazil

R.C. de Figueiredo, F.J. Snoek, S.M. Barreto

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To explore to what extent patients with diabetes agree with their physicians on diabetes management and whether the agreement varies according to patients' socio-demographic characteristics. A cross-sectional study was conducted among patients with diabetes and their Family Health physicians in 108 healthcare centres in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Patients and physicians were interviewed face-to-face using standard questionnaires. Physicians were unaware of which of their patients would be interviewed. Their responses were compared using descriptive statistics and Cohen's weighted kappa. 282 patient-physician pairs were included. Kappa coefficients were often low, the highest was found for presence of diabetic foot and the lowest for kidney disease. Physicians tended to overestimate patients' risk of diabetes complications and underestimate patients' adherence to all diabetes self-management activities as well as diabetes control. Moreover, the agreement rate regarding adherence to diet, foot care and medicine prescriptions was significantly higher among male, younger and higher educated patients. Results indicate that physicians' recommendations are generally poorly apprehended by their patients, especially by the lower educated, compromising the goal of patient-centred care. Educational programmes need to incorporate strategies to improve the comprehension and effectiveness of physician-patient communication, especially with the most socially vulnerable groups
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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