Measuring physician behavior

Med Care. 1986 Sep;24(9):838-47. doi: 10.1097/00005650-198609000-00005.


Reliable and valid information on physician behavior is required for measuring the adequacy of physician performance. We studied 4 methods of obtaining information on physician behavior in the ambulatory care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Physician interview, patient interview, chart audit, and videotaped observation were used to record the performance of 63 physicians in office visits with 214 adult patients. High interrater agreement was attained. All methods are of reasonable cost and all are acceptable to physicians. The content validity of the 2 interview methods was reasonably good, but chart audit and videotaped observation had poor content validity. Our findings suggest that no one method provides an accurate picture of physician behavior and, therefore, that a combination of methods should be used.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Data Collection / economics
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy
  • Medical Audit / methods
  • Medical History Taking / standards
  • Physicians*
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Videotape Recording