Canadians' willingness to receive care from physician assistants

Doan, Quynh, Hooker, Roderick S., Wong, Hubert, Singer, Joel, Sheps, Sam, Kissoon, Niranjan and Johnson, David (2012) Canadians' willingness to receive care from physician assistants. Canadian Family Physician, 58 8: E459-E464.

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Author Doan, Quynh
Hooker, Roderick S.
Wong, Hubert
Singer, Joel
Sheps, Sam
Kissoon, Niranjan
Johnson, David
Title Canadians' willingness to receive care from physician assistants
Journal name Canadian Family Physician   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0008-350X
Publication date 2012-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 58
Issue 8
Start page E459
End page E464
Total pages 6
Place of publication Mississauga, ON, U.S.A.
Publisher College of Family Physicians of Canada
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective To determine the willingness of Canadians to accept treatment from physician assistants (PAs).
Design Respondents were asked to be surrogate patients or parents under 1 of 3 conditions selected at random. Two
scenarios involved injury to themselves, with the third involving injury to their children. The wait time for a physician
was assumed to be 4 hours, whereas to explore the sensitivity of patients’ preferences for a range of times, PA wait
times were 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 2 hours.
Setting Vancouver, BC.
Participants Two hundred twenty-nine mothers attending a hospital with their children.
Main outcome measures The main outcome measure was the proportion of individuals in each scenario who
were willing to be treated by PAs for at least one of the time trade-off options offered. A secondary outcome was the
proportion of individuals who changed their answers when the waiting time to see the PA varied.
Results Regardless of the scenarios, 99% of participants opted for PAs under the personal circumstances; 96%
opted for PAs when the issue involved their children. The choice favouring the PA persisted, albeit at slightly lower
proportions, as the difference in wait time between PAs and physicians decreased (85% and 67% for a difference in PA
and physician wait time of 3 and 2 hours, respectively).
Conclusion These findings suggest that British Columbians are willing
to be treated by PAs under most circumstances, whether this includes
themselves or their children. The high level of willingness to be treated by
PAs demonstrates public confidence in PA care, and suggests that the use
of PAs in Canadian emergency departments or clinics is a viable policy
response to decreasing primary care capacity.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Tue, 06 Nov 2012, 20:21:40 EST by Matthew Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine