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Primary Care Practice Characteristics and Healthcare Professionals' Behavioral Responses to Change

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Primary Care Practice Characteristics and Healthcare Professionals’ Behavioral Responses to Change

Victoria M. Grady, DSc, Tulay G. Soylu, PhD, MHA, MBA , Debora G. Goldberg, PhD, MHA, MBA, Panagiota Kitsantas, PhD1, and James D. Grady, DMD

The recent decade brought major changes to primary care practices.

Previous research on change has focused on change processes, and change implementations rather than studying employee’s feelings, perceptions, and attitudes toward change. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship between healthcare professionals’ behavioral responses to change and practice characteristics. Our study, which builds upon Conner’s theory, addresses an extensive coverage of individual behaviors, feelings, and attitudes toward change. We analyzed survey responses of healthcare professionals (n = 1279) from 154 primary care practices in Virginia. Healthcare professionals included physicians, advanced practice clinicians, clinical support staff, and administrative staff. The Change Diagnostic Index© (CDI) was used to measure behavioral responses in 7 domains: anxiety, frustration, delayed development, rejection of environment, refusal to participate, withdrawal, and global reaction. We used descriptive statistics and multivariate regression analysis. Our findings indicate that professionals had a significantly lower aptitude for change if they work in larger practices (≥16 clinicians) compared to solo practices (P < .05) and at hospital-owned practices compared to independent practices (P < .05). Being part of an accountable care organization was associated with significantly lower anxiety (P < .05). Understanding healthcare professionals’ responses to change can help healthcare leaders design and implement successful change management strategies for future transformation.

To see the research article in full, click here.


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