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Sharing Medicine
September 2017

Sharing Experiences of Illness and Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
  • 2Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England
  • 3Cochrane UK, Oxford, England
  • 4Department of Family Medicine Research, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(9):1249-1250. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1935

Improving the experience of patients is central to the endeavor of medicine. However, as Donabedian1 recognized, the concept of patient experience should be separated from the concept of patient satisfaction. Patient experience refers to the totality of the person's care, including appropriateness of care and the degree to which it meets the multiple goals of each individual, not merely the immediate satisfaction it provides. For example, it is easy to improve satisfaction through excessive tests, prescriptions, and procedures.2