Disclosures: The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Rural and Urban Primary Care Physician Professional Beliefs and Quality Improvement Behaviors
Version of Record online: 16 FEB 2014
© 2014 National Rural Health Association
The Journal of Rural Health
Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 235–243, Summer 2014
How to Cite
Kirchhoff, A. C., Hart, G. and Campbell, E. G. (2014), Rural and Urban Primary Care Physician Professional Beliefs and Quality Improvement Behaviors. The Journal of Rural Health, 30: 235–243. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12067
Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank Julia Bodson, Gina Nam, Echo Warner, and Daniel St. Hilaire for their assistance with data management and literature review during the writing of this manuscript.
- Issue online: 1 JUL 2014
- Version of Record online: 16 FEB 2014
- Institute on Medicine as a Profession at Columbia University
- primary care physicians;
We evaluated whether primary care physicians (PCPs) from urban and rural practices differ on attitudes and behaviors related to quality improvement (QI) activities, patient relationships, and professionalism/self-regulation.
Data from a national survey that assessed physician attitudes and behaviors based on the Physician Charter on Medical Professionalism were used. Of the 1,891 survey respondents, N = 840 were PCPs (n = 274 family medicine (response rate = 67.5%); n = 257 general internal medicine (60.8%); and n = 309 pediatricians (72.7%)). Using Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes, PCPs were classified as urban and rural according to their practice ZIP code.
A total of n = 691 physicians were urban and n = 127 rural. Attitudes regarding participating in QI did not differ by practice location; however, rural PCPs were more likely to have reviewed an other physician's records for QI than urban PCPs (65.6% vs 48.0%, P < .001). Rural physicians were more likely to agree that physicians should talk with their patients about the cost of care than urban PCPs (40.5% vs 29.2%, P = .02). While all PCPs endorsed attitudes regarding the importance of professional behaviors (eg, reporting impaired/incompetent colleagues, disclosing medical errors) at generally similar levels, their behaviors differed. More rural physicians had a personal knowledge of an impaired/incompetent physician than urban physicians (20.7% vs 12.7%, P = .02).
PCPs from rural and urban areas share similar attitudes regarding the importance of participating in QI and fulfilling professional responsibilities. However, certain behaviors (eg, knowledge of impaired colleagues) do differ. These results should be confirmed in larger studies of rural PCPs.