Report Finds Patients Don’t Accept Evidence-Based Medicine

Healthcare consumers' attitudes about medical care are at odds with "evidence-based medicine," the use of clinical evidence to create standards of care, according to a report by Health Affairs.

In interviews with researchers, most consumers believed more medical care meant higher-quality care. And if their physician's medical opinion diverged from clinical guidelines, they were more likely to trust their physician than the guidelines.

Respondents said things like the guidelines might "discriminate against doctors who give you better care" and "it's thinking outside the box that helps you find a treatment that works."

Some also believed physicians might hide behind clinical guidelines to protect themselves from lawsuits over denial of care.

"The gaps in knowledge and misconceptions point to serious challenges in engaging consumers in evidence-based decision making," the study said.

Read Health Affairs' report on evidence-based medicine.

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