Attitudes toward cost-conscious care among Iranian physicians

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Background and objective: The growing healthcare costs are one of the most important concerns of health systems around the world. The role of physicians in managing diagnostic and therapeutic costs has always been prominent. The present study aims to assess the attitude of physicians towards cost-conscious prescription services in Iranian West Azerbaijan province.
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional, descriptive-analytical survey conducted in 2018 in West Azerbaijan Province. The study sample included 306 general practitioners from the private sector, family physicians and specialists from both public and private sectors, in contract with Iran health insurance organization. A researcher-developed questionnaire was used to collect data, which were analyzed using SPSS version 25.
Results: The overall mean score of attitude toward cost-conscious care was 73.32% with a standard deviation 7.71. There was a significant difference between the physicians’ attitudes in terms of gender, medical group, geographical location of workplace, and interest in participating in the seminars related to health economics. The family physicians had a higher positive attitude towards cost-consciousness.
Conclusion: The results were promising in terms of the physicians’ attitude towards cost awareness; the real hope should be nonetheless relied mostly on how they practice. Efforts should be adopted by health authorities to sustain such attitudes and grow them into practice.