Providers' Perspectives on Troublesome Overusers of Medical Services

Richard J. Bischoff, Cody S. Hollist, Jo Ellen Patterson, Lee Williams, Layne Prest, Matthew D. Barkdull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to better understand providers' perspectives of and experiences with frequent users of medical services. Focus group interviews were conducted with physicians in San Diego, California, and Omaha, Nebraska. Indicators of problematic patient overuse of medical services were identified as well as the common physician experience of overuse that is troublesome and problematic. Qualitative data analysis revealed that physicians did not consider patient overuse, by itself, to be problematic. Overuse became problematic and troublesome when patient behavior violated the physician-patient relationship of trust. All participants described a distinct negative physiological reaction to these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-403
Number of pages12
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Difficult patients
  • doctor/patient relationship
  • health care utilization
  • high utilizers
  • medically unexplained symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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