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Older Adults’ Perceptions of Overuse

  • Jeffrey T. KullgrenEmail author
  • Preeti Malani
  • Matthias Kirch
  • Dianne Singer
  • Sarah Clark
  • Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher
  • Eve A. Kerr
Concise Research Report

Perceptions of Health Care Overuse Among Older US Adults: Results of a National Survey

INTRODUCTION

Overuse of health care, defined as the use of tests and treatments that are unlikely to improve outcomes and can lead to unnecessary harms, is common among older adults.1 Previous interventions to reduce overuse have had limited success,2 partly because many clinicians believe that patients feel more health care is usually better and do not perceive overuse as prevalent. For example, 7 in 10 US primary care physicians feel that patient requests for tests and treatments are a major barrier to reducing overuse.3 However, little is known about patient perceptions of overuse, or how these perceptions may differ across patients. The objectives of our study were to measure perceptions of health care overuse among older US adults and to identify characteristics associated with these perceptions.

METHODS

In October 2017, we conducted a nationally representative internet survey using GfK...

KEY WORDS

aging consumer health health services research patient engagement survey research 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Erica Solway, PhD, MSW, MPH of the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation for feedback on this manuscript, for which she was not compensated beyond her usual salary.

Funding Information

The study was funded by Michigan Medicine and AARP, neither of which had any role in study design; collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data; and the decision to approve publication. Support was also provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Service. Dr. Kullgren is a VA HSR&D Career Development awardee (CDA 13-267) at the Ann Arbor VA.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Kullgren has received consulting fees from SeeChange Health and HealthMine, and honoraria from AbilTo, Inc., the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, and the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute. Dr. Kerr is on the clinical advisory board for BIND Health Insurance. All other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US government.

References

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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine (This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply)  2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey T. Kullgren
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Preeti Malani
    • 2
    • 3
  • Matthias Kirch
    • 3
  • Dianne Singer
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sarah Clark
    • 3
    • 4
  • Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher
    • 3
    • 5
  • Eve A. Kerr
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.VA Center for Clinical Management Research, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare SystemAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and InnovationAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Child Health Evaluation and Research CenterUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Department of Health Behavior and Health EducationUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA

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