Objectives Our study examines the impact and importance of providing medical records at the end of the visit in occupational medicine clinics (OMC) on patients and occupational physicians.
Methods This study is a cross-sectional study. Data was collected from patients visiting four different OMC during 2015 for a fitness for work evaluation and includes 287 questionnaires. We also collected questionnaires from 62 occupational physicians (OPs). The satisfaction range in the questionnaires was between 1 (very slightly satisfied) and 5 (very satisfied).
Results When patients were provided with the medical information in writing and orally, they showed a higher level of understanding (4.3 and 4.4 compared to 3.8 respectively, p<0.001), higher level of confidence in their OP (4.4 and 4.3 compared to 3.7 and 4 respectively, p<0.001), higher level of satisfaction (4.3 and 4.4 compared to 3.8 respectively, p<0.001), and higher sense of control and ability to correct the record (1.8 compared to 1.4 respectively, p<0.01). Doctors responded that giving the results orally to patients (39/62, 63%) would lead to more appeals of decisions. However, they believed that giving oral information would better clarify the work restrictions (4.6 compared to 4.1 respectively, p<0.05) and cause patients to trust them more (4.6 compared to 4.1 respectively, p<0.05).
Conclusions We recommend sharing the medical records with patients and including an oral explanation, understanding that the advantages overcome the disadvantages of this approach.
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