Patient-centered Care Can Lower Risk of Death in Heart Attack

Jul 23, 2010 By Katherine Kahn

In 2001, the Institutes of Medicine named patient-centered health care — based on patient preferences and needs — as a major and necessary change in America’s health care system to improve the quality of medical care.

A new study shows that this kind of care is not just a nice idea; it can also lower death rates from heart attacks.

The study, led by Mark Meterko, Ph.D., at the VA Boston Healthcare System, appears online in the journal Health Services Research.

Researchers looked at medical records and patient survey results for a national sample of more than 1,800 veterans hospitalized for a first heart attack. They evaluated different components of patient-centered care, such as access to , courtesy, coordination of care, attention to patient preferences and whether patients were well prepared for discharge.

In addition, researchers evaluated the technical quality of care, such as whether patients received drugs or procedures recommended for the treatment of heart attacks by most cardiology experts.

Patients who received better patient-centered care had a reduced risk of death of about 1 percent at one year after the heart attack.

“If you look at this large group of patients and adjust the data so that everyone has the same technical quality of care, those with better patient-centered care were more likely to survive,” said study co-author Paul Cleary, Ph.D., dean of the Yale School of Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine.

Although 1 percent might not seem like much, this translates into a 16 percent reduction in risk of death for the patients who received the best patient-centered care.

“Even though the effect is relatively small, if you asked people if they would prefer a place that had a 16 percent lower probability of mortality, I don’t know many who would say that’s not an important difference,” Cleary said.

Ann O’Malley, M.D., a senior researcher at the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, commented: “I think the study adds to the evidence that more patient-centered care in the form of better access and improved coordination and communication with patients about their preferences is associated with better survival.”

O’Malley, who has no affiliation with the study, said that while technical quality of care is very important, “we also need to ensure we’re delivering high-quality patient-centered care in terms of communicating with patients, in terms of coordinating their care and making sure they have good access to care when they need it.”

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

More information: Meterko M, et al. Mortality among patients with acute myocardial infarction: the influences of patient-centered care and evidence-based medicine. Health Services Research online, 2010.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Heart attack not a death sentence

Jul 18, 2008

Survivors of cardiac arrest who received intensive care can expect long-term quality of life at reasonable expense to the health care system. Research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care is the ...

Patient-centered approach can backfire

Aug 13, 2007

Today's doctors are trained to take a more "patient-centered" approach toward healthcare. That means educating patients about their conditions, encouraging questions and collaboration, discussing how the condition affects ...

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.