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April 4, 2012

Patient Satisfaction, Prescription Drug Abuse, and Potential Unintended Consequences

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Family Medicine (Drs Zgierska and Rabago) and Psychiatry (Dr Miller), School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

JAMA. 2012;307(13):1377-1378. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.419

Patient-centered care can improve treatment outcomes, and its implementation has become the focus of national and local efforts to optimize health and health care delivery. Patients' satisfaction with care is one of the pillars of patient-centered care.1 As such, results from patient satisfaction surveys (ie, patient experience of care measures) can be a driving force behind changes in health care delivery—with institutions and individual clinicians hoping for and actively seeking optimal survey scores. Although such initiatives generally promote improvements in practice that are responsive to patients' expressed needs, they may paradoxically promote prescribing of opioids and other addictive medications.

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