Volume 48 | Number 3 | June 2013

Abstract List

Karen E. Lutfey, Eric Gerstenberger M.S., John B. McKinlay


To identify styles of physician decision making (as opposed to singular clinical actions) and to analyze their association with variations in the management of a vignette presentation of coronary heart disease ().

Data Source

Primary data were collected from primary care physicians in orth and outh arolina.

Study Design

In a balanced factorial experimental design, primary care physicians viewed one of 16 (2) video vignette presentations of and provided detailed information about how they would manage the case.

Data Collection Method

256 primary care physicians were interviewed face‐to‐face in orth and outh arolina.

Principal Findings

We identify three clusters depicting unique styles of management that are robust to controls for physician (gender and level of experience) and patient characteristics (age, gender, socioeconomic status, and race) as well as key organizational features of physicians' work settings. Physicians in Cluster 1 “Cardiac” ( = 92) were more likely to focus on cardiac issues compared with their counterparts; physicians in Cluster 2 “Talkers” ( = 93) were more likely to give advice and take additional medical history; whereas physicians in Cluster 3 “Minimalists” ( = 71) were less likely than their counterparts to take action on any of the types of management behavior.


Variations in styles of decision making, which encompass multiple outcome variables and extend beyond individual‐level demographic predictors, may add to our understanding of disparities in health quality and outcomes.