Skip to main content

Table 2 Summary of themes in relation to preference for blood tests

From: Why do patients want to have their blood tested? A qualitative study of patient expectations in general practice

Motives Interpretation of results Alternatives
+ indications: periodical, recurrent or persisting complaints, self-management failed, different pattern of complaints, always, nervous patients, diseases in family, unexplained complaints
+ goals: proving certainty about good health, establishing diagnosis, excluding somatic disorders
+ previous experiences: similar complaints, previous explorative blood tests
+ GP should use active policy
+ patient requests blood tests, capable to indicate need for testing
- patient not taking initiative
+ patient sent by someone else
+ identifying with seriously ill people in environment
+ influence of the media: reports about young people with serious diseases, information about risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and cancer
+ tests yield much information: excluding, early detection, concrete data convince people
+ blood tests reliable
+ hardly any false positives and false negatives
+ if abnormal test results do not match patient's presentation: further examinations required, sign of illness without complaints
+ certainty about health status
+ sense of being healthy
+ reassurance
+ no wait-and-see: if risk factors are present, patient worried
- easily convinced by GP: confidence in GP, satisfied even when expectations are not met
- GP should devote more time and attention
- preferring explanation to tests
+ hard or impossible to convince: knowing more about own complaint than doctor, testing necessary for diagnosis, dissatisfied when expectations are not met
  1. + positive relation with preference for blood tests
  2. - negative relation with preference for blood tests