Influences of organizational features of healthcare settings on clinical decision making: Qualitative results from a cross-national factorial experiment

Karen Lutfey, Stephen Campbell, Lisa D. Marceau, Martin Roland, John McKinlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


A proliferating literature documents cross-national variation in medical practice and seeks to explain observed differences in terms of the presence of certain kinds of healthcare systems, economic, and cultural differences between countries. Less is known about how providers themselves understand these influences and perceive them as relevant to their clinical work. Using qualitative data from a cross-national factorial experiment in the United States and United Kingdom, we analyze 244 primary care physicians' explanations of how organizational features of their respective healthcare settings influence the treatment decisions they made for a vignette patient, including affordability of care; within-system quality deficits; and constraints due to patient behavior. While many differences are attributed to financial constraints deriving from two very differently structured healthcare systems, in other ways they are reflections of cultural and historical expectations regarding medical care, or interactions between the two. Implications, including possible challenges to the implementation of universal care in the USA, are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-56
Number of pages17
JournalHealth (Irvine)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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