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In HIV care, patient-provider relationship is key

thumbnail Rapport rules—Army Veteran Arlen Anderson, who is living with HIV, is seen by infectious disease fellow Dr. Bich Dang at the Houston VA Medical Center. A VA study on HIV care says the patient-provider relationship is the most critical factor in overall patient satisfaction. (Photo by Regit Sasser)

According to researchers at the Houston VA Medical Center, "The patient-provider relationship far exceeds other component experiences of care in its association with overall satisfaction." The results were based on a survey of nearly 500 patients receiving HIV primary care at two clinics. Factors related to access, such as clinic hours and ease of calling the clinic, were also linked to overall satisfaction, but less so. In the researchers' analysis, wait time and parking had no bearing on overall satisfaction. The survey was designed and carried out by health-services researchers at VA's Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies, and the study was partly funded by a local non-VA hospital system. VA is the single largest provider of medical care to people with HIV in the United States. (PLoS One, online Aug. 13, 2012)

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