Cover Image

Regulatory focus affects physician risk tolerance

Peter J. Veazie, Scott McIntosh, Benjamin P. Chapman, James G. Dolan
  • Scott McIntosh
    Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester, NY, United States
  • Benjamin P. Chapman
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, NY, United States
  • James G. Dolan
    Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester, NY, United States

Abstract

Risk tolerance is a source of variation in physician decision-making. This variation, if independent of clinical concerns, can result in mistaken utilization of health services. To address such problems, it will be helpful to identify nonclinical factors of risk tolerance, particularly those amendable to intervention – regulatory focus theory suggests such a factor. This study tested whether regulatory focus affects risk tolerance among primary care physicians. Twenty-seven primary care physicians were assigned to promotion-focused or prevention-focused manipulations and compared on the Risk Taking Attitudes in Medical Decision Making scale using a randomization test. Results provide evidence that physicians assigned to the promotion-focus manipulation adopted an attitude of greater risk tolerance than the physicians assigned to the prevention-focused manipulation (P=0.01). The Cohen’s d statistic was conventionally large at 0.92. Results imply that situational regulatory focus in primary care physicians affects risk tolerance and may thereby be a nonclinical source of practice variation. Results also provide marginal evidence that chronic regulatory focus is associated with risk tolerance (P=0.05), but the mechanism remains unclear. Research and intervention targeting physician risk tolerance may benefit by considering situational regulatory focus as an explanatory factor.

Keywords

regulatory focus theory, risk tolerance, medical decision making, primary care

Full Text:

PDF
HTML
Submitted: 2013-04-29 19:58:21
Published: 2014-09-02 17:56:28
Search for citations in Google Scholar
Related articles: Google Scholar
Abstract views:
483

Views:
PDF
425
HTML
97

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Copyright (c) 2014 Peter J. Veazie, Scott McIntosh, Benjamin P. Chapman, James G. Dolan

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
 
© PAGEPress 2008-2018     -     PAGEPress is a registered trademark property of PAGEPress srl, Italy.     -     VAT: IT02125780185     •     Privacy