Patient expectations for medical and surgical care: a review of the literature and applications to ophthalmology.
Over the past several decades, emphasis on patient-centered care, the dramatic growth of refractive surgery in the United States, and increasing competition in the eye care marketplace have made patient expectations increasingly important in the field of ophthalmology. Patient-centered care recognizes the obligation to understand and meet patient's expectations. Despite increasing patient expectations for refractive surgery and eye care in general, however, there has been limited research on patient expectations within the field of ophthalmology. The vast majority of existing research on patients' expectations has focused on expectations of primary care physicians. Because ophthalmologists are involved in both surgical and medical care, it is important to expand the consideration of patient expectations beyond the traditional primary care setting. Using elements of the taxonomy developed by Kravitz (Kravitz RL: Patients' expectations for medical care: an expanded formulation based on review of the literature. Med Care Res Rev 53:3-27, 1996), this article reviews the existing literature on patient expectations and draws attention to the limited research in specialty and surgical fields. This article has the following objectives: 1) provide a context for understanding what patient expectations are, 2) review the different ways that patient expectations are measured, 3) illustrate the content of patient expectations from empirical research, 4) outline potential determinants of patient expectations, and 5) discuss the role of patient expectations in ophthalmology.
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