Factors Affecting Patient Compliance to Physician Advice among Lebanese Internet Users IC01-IC05
Dr. Bilal Azakir,
Tarik El Jadida, Beirut, Lebanon.
Introduction: Patient compliance to physicians’ advice is pivotal for successful management of disease and in improving health care outcome.
Aim: To identify the factors that affect medical compliance to physicians’ advice among Lebanese internet users.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing randomly-selected adults Lebanese internet users who visited a physician at least once in the past three months. A pre-tested, pre-structured questionnaire was applied comprising of six parts: (1) personal information; (2) patient’s compliance; (3) perceived information asymmetry; (4) patient-physician concordance; (5) internet health information quality; and (6) physician quality. Descriptive statistics were computed as means/standard deviations (±SD) for continuous variables and as frequencies for categorical variables. The independent sample t-test or ANOVA was used to compare means of scales between groups and Pearson’s correlation was used to determine the degree of correlation between continuous variables.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 28.54±12 and the majority had secondary school education (53%), unmarried (64.5%), had a non-medical educational background (64.6%). Results showed that the level of education, patient-physician concordance and communication, and physicians’ empathy and competence were significantly associated with patient compliance with medical advice. Primary educated Lebanese patients exhibited the highest compliance score (29.80±3.53). Interestingly, perceived information asymmetry and internet health information quality had no significant impact on patients’ compliance.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that patients’ compliance is affected by the level of education, patient-physician concordance, physician’s competence and empathy, and communication between the patients and the physicians themselves. Henceforth, it is recommended that physicians should focus on improving their communication and professional skills rather than worrying about patients acquiring health information through the internet.