Journal article

Patients, doctors and contracts: An application of principal-agent theory to the doctor-patient relationship

A Scott, S Vick

SCOTTISH JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY | BLACKWELL PUBL LTD | Published : 1999

Abstract

The doctor-patient relationship has been the main focus of principal-agent theory in health care. This paper focuses on communication between doctors and patients within the doctor-patient relationship as a method by which the utility of the principal (patient) can be maximised. Patients' preferences for various attributes of the doctor-patient relationship are examined using a discrete choice experiment. Individuals were presented with pairs of hypothetical scenarios describing GP visits that differed depending on the attributes of the doctor-patient relationship. In the time-constrained GP consultation, the results show that being able to talk to the doctor is the most important attribute,..

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