A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has revealed most patients report positive experiences with their GP and specialists.
The report has provided insight on the communication between people with chronic conditions, their GPS and specialists.
"Patient-centred care approaches, such as encouraging regular contact, developing individualised care plans and involving patients in decisions about their care are particularly effective for improving the health outcomes of patients with chronic conditions," says the report.
"The experiences and interactions that patients with chronic conditions have with their doctors and other members of the care team play an important role in whether they stay in contact with the health system and manage their conditions effectively."
According to the report, three-in-four patients said that their GP always listened carefully and spent enough time with them, while the same proportion of patients with multiple chronic conditions said that their GP always spent enough time with them.
However, patients who had a mental health condition reported less positive experiences with their GP and specialists than those with no chronic health conditions.
Patients with mental health conditions were particularly less likely than those with no conditions to feel that their GP and specialists always listened carefully to them (66 per cent compared with 76 per cent for GP, and 70 per cent compared with 84 per cent for specialists).
Patients aged between 15 and 39 also reported less positive experiences than those aged 65 and over.
The report found the difference becomes even larger when patients have multiple chronic health conditions - for example, younger patients with multiple chronic conditions were much less likely than older patients to feel that their GP always listened carefully (56 per cent compared with 81 per cent).
Patients with multiple chronic health conditions who live in the most disadvantaged areas also reported less positive experiences with their GP than those in the least disadvantaged areas.
For example, 79 per cent of patients with multiple chronic conditions from the least disadvantaged areas felt that their GP always spent enough time with them, compared with 70 per cent of patients from the most disadvantaged areas. The report found this socioeconomic disparity was not apparent for specialists.
Around eight-in-ten patients said their specialists always listened carefully, showed respect and spent enough time with them. The same proportion of patients with multiple chronic conditions said their specialists always showed respect for what they said.