Objective To determine the prevalence of doctor shopping resulting from differential treatment and to examine associations between this shopping and current primary care relationships. Methods In 2012, a national internet-based survey of 600 adults receiving primary care in the past year with a BMI-≥-25 kg/m2 was conducted. Our independent variable was "switching doctors because I felt treated differently because of my weight." Logistic regression models to examine the association of prior doctor shopping with characteristics of current primary care relationships: duration, trust in primary care provider (PCP), and perceived PCP weight-related judgment, adjusted for patient factors were used. Results Overall, 13% of adults with overweight/obesity reported previously doctor shopping resulting from differential treatment. Prior shoppers were more likely to report shorter durations of their current relationships [73% vs. 52%; p-=-0.01] or perceive that their current PCP judged them because of their weight [74% vs. 11%; p-<-0.01] than nonshoppers. No significant differences in reporting high trust in current PCPs were found. Conclusions A subset of patients with overweight/obesity doctor shop resulting from perceived differential treatment. These prior negative experiences have no association with trust in current relationships, but our results suggest that patients may remain sensitive to provider weight bias.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics