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01-04-2015 | Uitgave 4/2015 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 4/2015

The importance of productive patient–professional interaction for the well-being of chronically ill patients

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2015
Jane Murray Cramm, Anna Petra Nieboer



To investigate patient–professional interactions and identify the association between quality of care, productivity of patient–professional interaction, and chronically ill patients’ well-being.


Questionnaires were distributed to chronically ill patients [T1 (2011), 2,191/4,693 (47 %) respondents; T2 (2012), 1,722/4,350 (40 %) respondents].


Patients perceived a higher degree of productive interaction with general practitioners compared to other professionals. Bivariate analyses showed that patients’ well-being at T2 was positively related to well-being at T1 (r = 0.70), quality of care (r = 0.12), and productive patient–professional interaction (r = 0.31; all p ≤ 0.001). Single status (r = –0.14), low education (r = –0.11), and female gender (r = –0.11; all p ≤ 0.001) were negatively associated with well-being. Multivariate analyses showed that after controlling for background characteristics and well-being at baseline quality of care is associated with patients’ well-being at T2 (p ≤ 0.01). When productive patient–professional interactions were entered into the equation, they not only were related to patients’ well-being (p ≤ 0.001) but also mediated the relationship between the quality of care and well-being. More productive patient–professional interactions were related to better well-being at T2 (B = 0.11), assuming that all other factors in the model remained constant.


Productive patient–professional interactions are associated with chronically ill patients’ well-being over time and mediate the relationship between well-being and quality of care. Improvement of the quality of chronic care delivery should always be accompanied by investment in the quality of relationships and communication between patients and professionals.

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