Patients' requests for various clinical services are pervasive and influential, according to a
study by UC Davis researchers published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
According to information in the study, consumer empowerment in health care is increasingly accepted as
inevitable, right and potentially beneficial. However, the need to control health-care costs is also important.
Requests are a major avenue for patients in influencing medical visits.
Richard L. Kravitz, professor of internal medicine, and his colleagues investigated patients' contributions
to health-care resource use and quality by studying their requests and physician responses at doctor visits.
Kravitz also is director of the UC Davis Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care.
The researchers surveyed patients and physicians and audiotaped 559 patient visits to 45 doctors in two
health-care systems between January and November 1999.