Issues in Elderly Patient-Provider Interactions
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The current state of knowledge concerning relationships between elderly patients and their health care providers is reviewed in this article, chiefly in terms of physicians as providers. Characteristics of physicians, including age, gender, practice styles, and psychological attitudes, are shown to be relevant to the course and content of interactions. Equally critical are characteristics of the elderly patients, such as cohort membership, health status, gender, race, and health-related attitudes and beliefs. Also significant are the organizational settings in which interactions occur. Implications for elderly patient compliance and satisfaction, as well as health services utilization, are discussed in light of communication issues. The need for according elderly patients respect and dignity is stressed, particularly in light of ageist attitudes still prevalent among health practitioners and the society at large. 1987, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.