Objective Quality of care received from physicians may impact health outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We compared physician quality of care (P-QOC), health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and disease activity and damage between SLE patients receiving outpatient care at a university and a county rheumatology clinic. Methods Forty-two university and 41 county clinic SLE patients provided data on 5 P-QOC parameters and HRQOL health outcomes (Short Form 36 [SF-36] health survey and EuroQol 5-domain instrument [EQ-5D]). Disease activity and damage were measured. Chi-square analysis and Student's t-tests were used for comparisons. Results Overall satisfaction with medical care was similar; however, university patients had higher P-QOC scores than county patients in "perception of doctor's understanding of impact of SLE on patient's life" (P = 0.02) and "providing education/educational information to understand their disease" (P = 0.05). HRQOL, disease activity, and damage were similar in the 2 groups. Overall satisfaction with medical care was directly related SF-36 general health (r = 0.34, P = 0.03) and EQ-5D visual analog scale on state of health (r = 0.39, P = 0.01), and inversely related EQ-5D pain (r = -0.37, P = 0.02). Conclusion Patient perceptions of P-QOC differed across the 2 centers despite similar demographics, clinical and HRQOL outcomes, and significant overlap in the physicians serving each clinic. Patients' overall satisfaction with medical care is associated with better HRQOL.
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