How good you feel

“Do you feel well treated?” Study: Doctors call for shorter waiting times and taking things more seriously

September 28, 2020, 10:37 am
research results

Therapy scientists from the Hochschule Fresenius present a study on the quality of care in Germany. They asked more than 1000 people what they expect from doctors, therapists and alternative practitioners and how satisfied they are with their care. The examined occupational groups score very differently in the evaluations. Patients often feel that they are not being taken seriously enough by doctors. On the other hand, the respondents were very satisfied with the treatment by alternative practitioners. Too long waiting times for a treatment appointment was attested to all.

In the study with the title “Do you feel well treated?” Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sabine Hammer, dean of the Master’s program in Therapeutic Sciences, answered a standardized questionnaire about their expectations and experiences regarding outpatient treatment. The behavior and competence of the practitioners as well as measures and treatment results were asked about. The study shows which factors influence the perceived success of treatment and which professional group offers the best treatment quality from the patient's point of view.

"The results surprised us, especially the very good results of the alternative practitioners," said Professor Hammer. “In medical treatment, the difference between expectation and experience is particularly high when it comes to the factor“ I feel that I am being taken seriously ”and when it comes to providing information.” Overall, the desire for more attention from the doctor becomes clear. Therapists (physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists) also do better overall than doctors, but there seems to be room for improvement in communication with them too: in some cases, patients do not feel they are sufficiently informed about their illness and the various treatment options.

Only around 120 of the respondents had expressed their expectations and experiences with alternative practitioners. They critically assessed the transparency in billing and compliance with competence limits. However, satisfaction with the treatment results was more positive in this group than in the doctors. "We assume that the factors of communication, time and holism play a major role, as well as the fact that people usually pay for the alternative practitioner visit themselves". While an appointment with a non-medical practitioner takes around 60 minutes, doctors take an average of 7.5 minutes per patient.

The study results were presented to the public for the first time on September 26, 2020 as part of a virtual scientific symposium with 130 participants and in a discussion with Ursula Hilpert Mühlig, President of the Association of German Alternative Practitioners, Gregor Bornes, spokesman for the Federal Working Group on Patients and Patient Representatives in the Federal Joint Committee , Bernd Scheliga, Advisory Board of the Professional Association Physio Germany, Dr. Yael Adler, doctor for skin and venereal diseases, and Prof. Dr. med. Joachim Latsch, Professor of Prevention and Exercise Medicine at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Cologne.

The fact that expectations and experience often do not match results in a clear need for improvement. According to Professor Latsch, timing and lack of time in medical care are “a big problem”. Bernd Scheliga sees long waiting times for appointments with therapists in connection with the shortage of skilled workers. “Here we have to work on the attractiveness of the profession in order to be able to meet the increasing demand for remedies in the future.” Professor Hammer assesses the comparatively good results of the alternative practitioners as follows: “Even if alternative treatment treatments generally lack a scientific basis, the study provides information that alternative practitioners better meet the need for attention and individual consideration, which is often neglected in medical care.

About the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences

The Hochschule Fresenius with its locations in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Idstein, Cologne, Munich and Wiesbaden as well as the study center in New York is one of the largest and most renowned private universities in Germany with almost 15,000 students. It looks back on more than 170 years of tradition. In 1848 Carl Remigius Fresenius founded the "Chemisches Laboratorium Fresenius" in Wiesbaden, which from the beginning was dedicated to both laboratory practice and training. The university has been officially recognized since 1971. It has a very broad and varied range of subjects and offers full-time bachelor and master programs as well as part-time and training-related (dual) courses in the fields of chemistry & biology, design, health & social affairs, onlineplus and economics & media. The Hochschule Fresenius is institutionally accredited by the Science Council. During the first accreditation in 2010, in particular their “broad and innovative range of Bachelor and Master’s courses”, “their internationality” and their “convincingly designed practical relevance” were recognized by the Science Council.

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