An international research by APH & ACS researcher Prabath Nanayakkara (professor Internal medicine at Amsterdam UMC) shows that there should be more attention for the personal questions of patients besides the medical health care. This will help with delivering patient-centered care.

The aim of the research was to find out what matters most to patients in acute care. Nanayakkara: “Important decisions are made in the first 24 hours of the hospitalization, but there is not much known about the needs of the patients at this stage of their stay in the hospital”. The goal of the research is to learn more about the needs and to improve health care with this information.

Almost fifty percent of the interviewed patients said that they thought the doctor was not aware what was most important for them in that moment. Diverse reasons were mentioned: patients did not see the doctor yet, they did not see why they should share their worriers or they felt like a burden to the doctors. Other reasons were that they already spoke to others or that they did not feel like they could say something or that they were not comfortable with sharing their personal feelings.

The research shows that most people shared the priorities of the hospital: getting a diagnosis as fast as possible, getting better and going home as fast as possible. When asking the right questions, like what matters most to you at the moment? And why?, other wishes became apparent. These questions could be the start of a meaningful conversation between health care provider and patient.

Read more (in Dutch) on the Amsterdam UMC website.

Read the full article published in BMC Health Service Research.