Licciardone J, Brittain P, Coleridge S. Health status and satisfaction of patients receiving ambulatory care at osteopathic training clinics. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2002;102(4):219–223. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2002.102.4.219.
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Little is known about the health status and level of satisfaction of patients receiving care at osteopathic training clinics. Previous studies report favorable responses to medical student participation in ambulatory clinics. The health status and level of satisfaction for 2700 patients attending six family medicine training clinics at a college of osteopathic medicine were measured from 1996 through 1998. Clinic response rates ranged from 74% to 98%. Data from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form (SF-36) were used to compute standardized scores in the following eight health scales for English- and Spanish-speaking patients: physical functioning, role limitations because of physical problems, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality, social functioning, role limitations because of emotional problems, and mental health. Patients at these osteopathic training clinics reported poorer health than the general population on all eight scales (P < .001). Patients who were English speakers reported significantly better health than their Spanish-speaking counterparts on four of the eight health scales, although the Spanish-speaking patients reported greater vitality. There were significant differences in patient health across clinics. More than 92% of patients at these six osteopathic training clinics reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their healthcare. This study suggests that osteopathic medical students are well accepted in ambulatory clinic encounters and that these students may encounter differing levels of patient health depending on where they receive their training.
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