Screening practices of Israeli doctors' and their patients

Prev Med. May-Jun 2010;50(5-6):300-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Feb 16.


Objective: Doctors' health matters because healthy physicians are more productive and because physicians' health practices affects their patient counseling habits, but there are few objective data on this topic.

Methods: An examination of differences in screening quality health indicators between physicians (n=429) and 1621 age, gender, and socioeconomically matched patient controls from our district Health Maintenance Organization in Israel during the first half of 2008.

Results: Doctors and matched patients had similar rates for low-density lipoprotein measurement (85%/84%=NS), colorectal cancer screening (23%/27%=NS), influenza vaccine among the chronically ill (23%/24%=NS), and mammography (for women, 55%/57%=NS). Doctors with hypertension had blood pressures clinically recorded considerably less frequently than matched patients do (56%/77%, p<0.001), and their smoking habits were recorded less often, but their recorded tobacco habits were significantly better. Physician-patient contrasts were also minimal (again except for clinician-recorded blood pressure and smoking) among the chronically ill.

Conclusions: These are the first objective data of which we know that test (and confirm) prior self-reported data that physicians' screening experiences are similar to patients'. Improving physicians' personal screening could also improve patient screening: physicians' self-reported primary prevention habits are considerably better than patients' and have been shown repeatedly to strongly and consistently positively influence patient counseling practices, and hence the health of the public.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patients / psychology
  • Patients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Primary Prevention
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Self Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors