It's difficult to separate the (positive or negative) experience of receiving medical care from the medical interventions themselves.
The quality of medical care is a popular subject of debate, and oftentimes complaint. Sometimes gripes are legitimate and sometimes they're not. But a new study finds that patients' opinions of the care they receive can be quite different from the actual quality of the medical care. More alarming is that opinions and experiences vary greatly by race.
Researchers asked 374 women who had received treatment for early stage breast cancer at New York City hospitals about their opinions of the care they got. Just over half of the women (55 percent) said they received "excellent" care. But most women - 88 percent - actually got care that was considered in line with the best current treatment guidelines.
The ease or difficulty of obtaining the treatment in the first place has a big impact on one's experience of the whole process.
The process of obtaining medical treatment had a great influence on how satisfied patients were. Many women (60 percent) who said they got excellent care also said the process of getting the care was excellent; but only about 16 percent of women who said they got less-than-excellent care said the process of getting the care was excellent. This suggests that the ease or difficulty of obtaining the treatment in the first place has a big impact on one's experience of the whole process.