CHICAGO (AP) -- Patients who have asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure and receive primary care from nurse practitioners fare just as well as those treated by doctors, researchers suggested today.
Researchers randomly assigned 1,316 patients to either nurse practitioners or doctors. After six months, patients in both groups got equal benefit medically and were just as satisfied.
The findings were published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.
It is unclear whether the findings -- involving mostly poor immigrants -- are representative of the population at large or whether the results would be the same over longer periods, when more complex medical problems might arise, said an expert not involved in the research.
About 65,000 nurse practitioners work in this country
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