Accompanied older patients more satisfied with care

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 11, 2008

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People older than 65 are more likely to have a favorable view of doctors if they have a companion with them for appointments, says a study in the July 14 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data on a sample of 12,018 Medicare beneficiaries. Approximately 39% brought spouses or adult children to routine medical visits who recorded physician instructions and supplied information about medical conditions. They also asked questions and explained directions. Patients who had companions tended to be older, sicker and less educated but also more likely to be "highly satisfied" with a physician's technical abilities, information sharing and interpersonal skills.

"Our findings suggest that visit companions could be an important resource for vulnerable adults," said Jennifer L. Wolff, PhD, lead author and assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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