March 15, 2011

ARE THERE REALLY STILL PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THERE'S A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ILLNESS AND DIAGNOSIS?:

Whether Chronic Diseases Are Diagnosed May Depend on Where You Live: Regions with most diagnoses had lower fatality rates, but why is unclear, researchers say (Jenifer Goodwin, March 15, 2011, HealthDay)

It would stand to reason that whether a person is diagnosed with a chronic disease has to do with how ill they are, the researchers said.

But instead, the findings suggest that chronic disease diagnosis is influenced by the "intensity of health care" in a particular region, which includes how many doctors and specialists are operating in a particular region, access to those doctors and the likelihood of doctors to send you to a specialist or to order lab and imaging tests.

"The study suggests disease diagnosis is not only a property of the patient, but associated with the intensity with which health care is delivered in a region," said senior study author Dr. John Wennberg, a professor emeritus and founder of the Dartmouth Institute. "For example, if in certain regions people see lots of doctors, have lots of visits to doctors and lots of lab tests, that could be because there is a perfect relationship between illness and the amount of care that's delivered. But it could be that the more doctors you see, the more diagnoses you get."

The study, conducted by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, Vt., and colleagues, appears in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. It was funded in part by the National Institute on Aging.


One goes to the doctor to have her find something "wrong."


Posted by at March 15, 2011 5:42 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« ON THE BRIGHT SIDE...: | Main | THE UNIVERSALITY OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM: »