BACKGROUND: Point-of-care testing is increasingly being used in general practice to assist GPs in their management of patients with chronic disease. However, patient satisfaction and acceptability of point-of-care testing in general practice has not been widely studied. AIM: To determine if patients are more satisfied with point-of-care testing than with pathology laboratory testing for three chronic conditions. DESIGN OF STUDY: As part of a large multicentre, randomised, controlled trial assessing the use of point-of-care testing in Australian general practice, satisfaction was measured for patients having pathology testing performed by point-of-care testing devices or pathology laboratories. Patients in the trial were managed by GPs for diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, and/or anticoagulant therapy. METHOD: Patient satisfaction was measured using level of agreement with a variety of statements at the end of the study with a patient satisfaction questionnaire for both the intervention and control groups. Analysis was performed using a mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) with allowance for clustering at the practice level following Box-Cox transformations of the data to achieve normality. RESULTS: Overall, intervention patients reported that they were satisfied with point-of-care testing. In comparison with the control group, the intervention group had a higher level of agreement than control patients with statements relating to their satisfaction with the collection process (P<0.001) and confidence in the process (P<0.001). They also viewed point-of-care testing as strengthening their relationship with their GP (P = 0.010) and motivational in terms of better managing their condition (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: The results from this trial support patient satisfaction and acceptability of point-of-care testing in a general practice setting.
Laurence, C. O., Gialamas, A., Bubner, T., Yelland, L., Willson, K., Ryan, P., … Point of Care Testing in General Practice Trial Management Group. (2010). Patient satisfaction with point-of-care testing in general practice. The British Journal of General Practice : The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 60(572).