Objectives: To examine the effect on primary care physicians' implementation and their patients' adherence behaviors of patient-physician concordance about recommended geriatric health care.
Design: Case-series, independent interviews of patients and their physicians about their perceptions of the patients' health and the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA).
Participants: Community-dwelling older patients (n = 111) who received consultative outpatient CGA and their primary care physicians.
Measurements: Concordance variables were generated using physician and patient responses to 10 questions on health- and CGA-related perceptions. An overall concordance score was generated by summing the total number of items on which patients and physicians agreed. Measures of the two dependent variables (physician implementation of and patient adherence to CGA recommendations) were by self-report.
Results: In multiple logistic regression analyses, overall concordance between patient and physician proved to be a significant and powerful predictor of physician implementation of (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.6-4.6, P <.001) and patient adherence to (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.7-4.2, P <.001) CGA recommendations, controlling for patient and physician gender and age, patients' functional status, duration of the patient-physician relationship, and frequency of visits in the previous year. Further analysis revealed that mutual patient-physician concordance on health-related perceptions was a significant predictor of these outcomes, whereas individual patient or physician perceptions were not.
Conclusion: Concordance between older patients and their primary care physicians is a powerful predictor of physician implementation of and patient adherence to outpatient consultative CGA recommendations. Future research should focus on ways physicians can assess and negotiate patient-physician agreement on geriatric healthcare recommendations.