MONDAY, March 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Most patients, including those receiving nonnormal results, prefer to receive test results though an online patient portal immediately, according to a study published online March 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Bryan D. Steitz, Ph.D., from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues conducted a large, multisite survey study at four academic medical centers to assess patient and caregiver attitudes and preferences related to receiving immediately released test results through an online patient portal. Data were included for 8,139 respondents.

The researchers found that 95.7 percent of respondents, including 95.3 percent of the 2,453 individuals who received nonnormal results, preferred to immediately receive test results through the portal. Overall, 7.5 percent of respondents reported that reviewing results before they were contacted by a health care practitioner increased worry, with increased worry more common among those receiving abnormal versus normal results (16.5 versus 5.0 percent). The pooled model for worry as a function of test result normality was statistically significant (odds ratio, 2.71; 99 percent confidence interval, 1.96 to 3.74), suggesting an association between worry and nonnormal results. The pooled model examining the association between worry and precounseling was not significant (odds ratio, 0.70; 99 percent confidence interval, 0.31 to 1.59).

“Most respondents preferred to receive test results through the patient portal even if it meant viewing results prior to discussion with a health care professional,” the authors write. “This remained true for patients receiving not normal results.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the publishing industry.

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