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1.  Are Dutch patients willing to be seen by a physician assistant instead of a medical doctor? 
Background
The employment of physician assistants (PAs) is a strategy to improve access to care. Since the new millennium, a handful of countries have turned to PAs as a means to bridge the growing gap between the supply and demand of medical services. However, little is known about this new workforce entity from the patient’s perspective. The objective of this study was to assess the willingness of Dutch patients to be treated by a PA or a medical doctor (MD) under various time constraints and semi-urgent medical scenarios.
Methods
A total of 450 Dutch adults were recruited to act as surrogate patients. A convenience sample was drawn from patients in a medical office waiting room in a general hospital awaiting their appointments. Each participant was screened to be naive as to what a PA and a nurse practitioner are and then read a definition of a PA and an MD. One of three medical scenarios was assigned to the participants in a patterned 1-2-3 strategy. Patients were required to make a trade-off decision of being seen after 1 hour by a PA or after 4 hours by a doctor. This forced-choice method continued with the same patient two more times with 30 minutes and 4 hours and another one of 2 hours versus 4 hours for the PA and MD, respectively.
Results
Surrogate patients chose the PA over the MD 96 % to 98 % of the time (depending on the scenario). No differences emerged when analysed by gender, age, or parenthood status.
Conclusion
Willingness to be seen by a PA was tested a priori to determine whether surrogate Dutch patients would welcome this new health-care provider. The findings suggest that employing PAs, at least in concept, may be an acceptable strategy for improving access to care with this population.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-10-28
PMCID: PMC3462730  PMID: 22947130
Physician assistants; Trade-off; Willingness
2.  Do knowledge, knowledge sources and reasoning skills affect the accuracy of nursing diagnoses? a randomised study 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:11.
Background
This paper reports a study about the effect of knowledge sources, such as handbooks, an assessment format and a predefined record structure for diagnostic documentation, as well as the influence of knowledge, disposition toward critical thinking and reasoning skills, on the accuracy of nursing diagnoses.
Knowledge sources can support nurses in deriving diagnoses. A nurse’s disposition toward critical thinking and reasoning skills is also thought to influence the accuracy of his or her nursing diagnoses.
Method
A randomised factorial design was used in 2008–2009 to determine the effect of knowledge sources. We used the following instruments to assess the influence of ready knowledge, disposition, and reasoning skills on the accuracy of diagnoses: (1) a knowledge inventory, (2) the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory, and (3) the Health Science Reasoning Test. Nurses (n = 249) were randomly assigned to one of four factorial groups, and were instructed to derive diagnoses based on an assessment interview with a simulated patient/actor.
Results
The use of a predefined record structure resulted in a significantly higher accuracy of nursing diagnoses. A regression analysis reveals that almost half of the variance in the accuracy of diagnoses is explained by the use of a predefined record structure, a nurse’s age and the reasoning skills of `deduction’ and `analysis’.
Conclusions
Improving nurses’ dispositions toward critical thinking and reasoning skills, and the use of a predefined record structure, improves accuracy of nursing diagnoses.
doi:10.1186/1472-6955-11-11
PMCID: PMC3447681  PMID: 22852577
Clinical practice; Critical reasoning; Knowledge; Nursing diagnoses; RCT

Results 1-2 (2)