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Original Article

IJMDC. 2023; 7(10): 1350-1355

Physicians’ knowledge of the effect of insurance status on clinical decision-making in Saudi Arabia

Abdullah A. AlHokair, Abdullah Z. Almeshari, Abdulaziz A. AlOtaibi, Wadi B. Alonazi.


Background: Generally, decisions related to healthcare issues should be only made according to the clinical criteria. However, in clinical decision-making (DM), there is mutual information sharing, in which health providers share the benefits and adverse effects of potential treatment with their patients, and patients share their values and lifestyle preference with their physicians. The clinical decision is affected by factors either related to patients or physicians; the factors related to patients include socio-economic status. Health insurance reduces the costs of medication and patient hospitalization, allowing patients to obtain better medical care while treating various diseases. Therefore, clinical decisions can be affected by the insurance status of patients. The present study is aimed at describing the physicians’ knowledge regarding the impact of patients’ insurance status on clinical DM.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted by enrolling physicians in private hospitals and clinics. The study was conducted via an online questionnaire that investigated physicians’ demographics and knowledge. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 22 was used to analyze the collected data; a p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: There were 401 physicians who participated in this study; 75.3% were males, 42.9% were consultants, 76.3% were non-Saudi physicians, and 72.1% were working in the private sector. The mean ± SD of the knowledge score was 18.89 ± 4.9. The mean knowledge score was significantly affected by nationality (p < 0.001) and type of practice (p = 0.012).
Conclusion: Physicians needed to gain more knowledge regarding the impact of health insurance on clinical DM. The nationality and type of facility affected the level of physicians‘ knowledge.

Key words: Knowledge, physicians, impact, decision making.

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