Date of Publication

Spring 1-17-2018


Introduction. Home health care has been established as an effective model for reducing mortality in the elderly. The Doctor-at-Home Service at the Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) has offered home health care to Burlington residents since January 2015. Dr. Karen Sokol, MD, alone provides care to 176 patients at their homes, including at-home palliative care. CHCB hope to expand this program by hiring more providers.

Objective. To understand the impact of the Doctor-at-Home Service from the pa- tients’ perspective.

Methods. A survey was administered to a cohort of eighteen patients over an 8- week period and addressed topics such as barriers to healthcare, benefits, and costs associated with doctor-at-home programs. A theme analysis on the responses was then conducted to reflect patient opinions. Available summary data describing the pa- tient population was also analyzed.

Results. The Doctor- at- Home program serves patients ranging from 26 to 100 years old, with the majority of the patient population comprised of senior citizens. Prior to at home care, patients faced barriers such as lack of transportation, negative past experi- ences, anxiety, and distance from relatives. Four main themes from patient responses were physician-patient relationship, convenience, quality of care, and environment of care.

Discussion. Evidence is compelling that there is a desire and need for an exten- sion of the Doctor-at-Home program to reach additional patients. Doctor-at-Home pro- grams could eliminate identified barriers and provide quality care to patients, especially those with specific barriers to access.


Karen Lounsbury

UVM Larner College of Medicine

Jan Carney

UVM Larner College of Medicine

Jolie Lavigne

Community Health Centers of Burlington


Access to Health Services, Older Adults

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Patient Perspectives of the Doctor-at-Home Service