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Interruptions during general practice consultations--the patients' view

Dearden, A., Smithers, M. and Thapar, Ajay Kumar ORCID: 1996. Interruptions during general practice consultations--the patients' view. Family Practice 13 (2) , pp. 166-169. 10.1093/fampra/13.2.166

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BACKGROUND: Although most aspects of the consultation have been extensively reported there is very little information on the effects of interruptions on the consultation. OBJECTIVE: We wished to discover the patients' view of interruptions. METHODS: In this pilot study the sources and frequency of interruptions to the consultations of a single general practitioner were measured. The effects of interruptions on 102 patients whose consultations were interrupted were then ascertained using a simple questionnaire. RESULTS: The overall interruption rate was found to be 10.2%. The telephone was the commonest source of interruption, accounting for 50% of interruptions. Although most patients did not perceive the interruption as having an important effect on the consultation, 20% of patients did feel that the interruption had a bad effect on the consultation and 40% of patients felt it would have been better not to have been interrupted. A majority of patients (52%) did not feel that the reason for the interruption was important. Although most patients did not feel affected by the interruption, a significant minority (18%) of patients had a strongly negative emotional response to the interruption. CONCLUSIONS: In view of these findings the need for further work has been highlighted.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0263-2136
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 09:42

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