The goal of this research was to understand better the perspectives held by physicians and patients regarding what factors determine the appropriateness of medical visits. We also wished to create a convenient measure of those perspectives. In our first study, we conducted focus groups separately composed of 22 physicians and 16 patients to determine their respective views. In our second study, a 40-item measure derived from Study 1 themes was administered to a sample of 202 patients. Study 1 identified 20 themes, collapsing into 6 dimensions. Physicians held views that some patients were manipulative when seeking medical care. Study 2 revealed factors of "Symptom Experience" and "Doctor Expertise." The two studies revealed that the perception of medical utilization varies between patients and physicians, but both groups share many similar beliefs.


Medical Utilization, Appropriate Medical Visits, Focus Groups, and Mixed-Methods


The authors declare no conflicts of interest with this article. The authors would like to thank Nicole Bernard, BA, Michael Grant, Ph.D., and Stacie Speers, MS for their contributions to this project.

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