Diagnosing the dialogue between physicians and patients: assessing reports of healthcare autonomy
Shotwell, Jessica Janice
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Healthcare institutions and providers are charged with supporting patient autonomy by creating an autonomy supportive environment and practicing Shared Decision Making. Yet, patients and providers may hold different opinions regarding autonomy, patients may not follow-through with being autonomous, and providers may not engage in equal amounts of autonomy support. Study 1 found that patients (N = 214) and providers (N = 19) had different perceptions of patient autonomy and provider support of patient autonomy. Study 2 found that autonomy primed patients (n = 123) and non-autonomy primed patients (n = 125) received equal amounts of autonomy support from providers (N = 22). However, Study 2 results indicate a ceiling-effect—all patients reported high personal autonomy and provider support of autonomy. Future work should examine whether priming patient autonomy would be advantageous in different populations and if different types of healthcare providers are more likely to engage in autonomy support.