(HealthDay News) — Most patients prefer to receive test results immediately though an online patient portal, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers conducted a survey at 4 academic medical centers to assess patient and caregiver attitudes and preferences related to receiving test results through an online patient portal. Data were included for 8139 respondents.

The vast majority of respondents (95.7%) preferred to receive test results immediately through the portal. This included 95.3% of the 2453 individuals who received abnormal results.

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A minority of respondents (7.5%) reported that reviewing results before they were contacted by a health care practitioner increased worry. Increased worry was more common among those receiving abnormal vs normal results (16.5% vs 5.0%).

The pooled model for worry as a function of test result normality was statistically significant (odds ratio, 2.71; 99% CI, 1.96-3.74), suggesting an association between worry and abnormal results. The pooled model examining the association between worry and precounseling was not significant (odds ratio, 0.70; 99% CI, 0.31-1.59).

“As health care systems continue to navigate this new era of health information transparency, balancing patients’ expectation of immediate access to their information with the need to manage increased worry and health care practitioner burden is increasingly important,” the study authors wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the publishing industry.

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