Kei Mukohara, MD
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Mukohara K. Public Expectation for Annual Physical Examinations. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:773-774. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-137-9-200211050-00022
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(9):773-774.
TO THE EDITOR:
Oboler and colleagues (1) found that 66% of respondents in their study expected annual physical examinations. Given this high public expectation and the potential role of an annual examination in nurturing the physician–patient relationship and improving access to proven preventive services (2), one could assume that it should be incorporated into daily practice instead of being provided through the currently recommended case-finding approach. However, Oboler and colleagues' results do not necessarily mean that the respondents actually preferred annual physical examination to the case-finding approach. Respondents were not given the option of case finding when they were asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “In addition to seeing my regular doctor when I am sick or for chronic medical problems, I need an annual physical exam.” The results might have differed if the interviewer had also asked the participants whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “When I see my regular doctor when I am sick or for chronic medical problems, I want my doctor to check me for other unrelated health problems.” The authors may have overestimated the public's desire for annual physical examinations because persons who would have desired any form of periodic health examination or would have favored case finding over annual physical examination did not have a choice and had to agree with the original study statement.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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