Patients' perceptions--a shift in medical perspective

Scand J Prim Health Care. 1993 Jun;11(2):98-104. doi: 10.3109/02813439308994910.


Based on an empirical study in general practice, patients' perceptions and a fundamental shift in medical perspective are described. The research material was collected in a prospective interview-study that included 13 general practitioners and 35 patients (24 female and 11 male). Patients and doctors were interviewed before and after the consultation. A semistructured schedule was followed, and all 175 interviews were performed by the investigator, and taped. A patient-perception-model of health, based on the analysis of the interviewdata, became the framework for describing the complexities of illness experiences. The coupling of viewpoints revealed that patients and doctors live in different conceptual worlds. Often they did not know the extent to which their perceptions were different, nor why. The aspects of disease that lie outside the biomedical field have not hitherto been of great interest in medical research. However, our ability to act on the humanistic dimensions in everyday clinical settings depends on knowledge about these as well. Medical human science research may give us new conceptions and theories in this complex territory.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Sick Role*