Are Australians willing to be treated by a physician assistant?

Hooker, Roderick S., Harrison, Kristen, and Pashen, Dennis (2010) Are Australians willing to be treated by a physician assistant? Australasian Medical Journal, 3 (7). pp. 407-413.

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Background: Physician assistants (PAs) are deployed to extend the role of the general practitioner and other doctors in Canada, England, Scotland, The Netherlands, the United States and elsewhere. Because Australians have little experience with this type of provider, we undertook a study to test the willingness of patients to be treated by a PA.

Method: A time trade-off preference survey was administered to women naïve about PAs in Northern Queensland in 2009. Each survey described one of three scenarios of injury and asked the patient to make a decision between waiting four hours for a doctor or one hour for a PA.

Results: A total of 229 candidate patients unconditionally participated (225 met criteria). Two-thirds were between the ages of 20 & 35 years. All but two of the participants (99%) selected to be treated by the PA regardless of the scenario. When choices of time differences between a doctor and a PA were reduced to 2 hours and 1 hour, respectively, the preferential choice of seeing the PA persisted.

Conclusion: Australian women in Northern Queensland were willing to be treated by a PA as a theoretical construct and without actual experience or knowledge of PAs. The familiar doctor care was traded for that of a PA when access to care was more available. Developing PAs in Australian society may be practical and patient attitudes more accepting, than realized. The concept of willingness to be treated has utility in socioeconomic research.

Item ID: 17281
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-1935
Keywords: surrogate patient, informed choice, ethics, non-physician clinicians, informed consent, trade-off, concept model, Queensland
Date Deposited: 29 May 2011 23:49
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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