Medliorate

Improving medical students

Consultation Duration and Patient Satisfaction

Posted by medliorator on August 2, 2008

Your performance as a physician may rely on more than free time…

a new review of studies suggests …consultations would not be much different if patients had more face time with their physicians.

In five studies conducted in the United Kingdom, doctors did not discuss more problems, prescribe more drugs, run more tests, make more referrals or do more examinations when they had a few additional minutes with patients.

“There was some evidence that blood pressure was checked and smoking discussed more often when more time was available,” said Andrew Wilson, M.D., of England’s University of Leicester, who wrote the review with University of Northumbria researcher Susan Childs.

However, he said, “The most consistent finding was that several aspects of doctors’ behavior remained unchanged.

The patients in the five studies did not feel more satisfied with their care when they were able to consult longer with their doctors. However, in each study, consultation times were only slightly longer than usual, and might have not been enough extra time to make a difference in the doctors’ routine or the patients’ satisfaction, the researchers write.

Visit http://www.cochrane.org for more information.

Doctors Don’t Change Their Routine During Longer Consultations [Medical News Today]

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