Targets hinder GP-patient links

Guideline-based medicine adversely affects GPs' relationships with patients, a survey of Swiss doctors suggests.

Nearly 30% of the 1,546 doctors surveyed were GPs. This group had the most positive opinion of guidelines and healthcare networks.

Respondents said most tools helped cut healthcare costs, but also had a negative impact on medical practice.

Tools developed by peers were better accepted than those based on research papers.

The research, carried out at the University of Geneva, assessed how doctors perceive practice guidelines, healthcare networks and second opinion requirements, as well as pre-approval requirements.

The doctors were asked to assess the effect of each tool on professional autonomy, control of healthcare costs, quality of care and relations with patients.

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