The Impact of Cost Conversations on the Patient-Physician Relationship.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Previous research has suggested that fear of harm to the patient-physician relationship is an important barrier to conversations about cost of care. However, few experimental studies have investigated the effects of cost of care conversations on the patient-physician relationship, particularly from the patient's perspective. In the current research, we take an experimental approach to investigate patients' attitudes and preferences for a hypothetical physician who discusses cost versus one who does not. Across three studies, using data from both the general population and cancer patients, we find that people prefer a hypothetical physician who discusses cost over one who does not (Pilot Study, Studies 1 and 2). In addition, we find that people use cost information to inform their hypothetical treatment decisions without changing their attitudes toward the physician who includes this information (Study 1). Finally, we examine how and when cost information compares to more traditional medical information (e.g., side effects; Study 2). We discuss the implications of this research for cost communications and the patient-physician relationship, highlighting that cost conversations may not be as harmful as previously thought.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brick, DJ; Scherr, KA; Ubel, PA

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 65 - 73

PubMed ID

  • 29053379

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6312724

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7027

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/10410236.2017.1384428


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England