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April 12, 2000

Assessing Patients' Views of Clinical Changes

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(14):1824-1825. doi:10.1001/jama.283.14.1821

To the Editor: In their article on capturing the patient's perspective as an outcome measure, it might have been helpful if Dr Fischer and colleagues1 had discussed some additional issues attendant to the conclusion that "retrospective assessments appear to provide information that is different from serial change data, are more sensitive to change, and are more highly correlated with patient satisfaction." The enhanced correlation between retrospective change and patient satisfaction may be tautological. Patients who perceive that they have experienced better outcomes, for example (which could be due to faulty memory or could be causally influenced by the rapport established with their clinicians), would be expected to be more satisfied with their care irrespective of the validity of these perceptions.

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