Does Length Matter? Patients’ Perceptions and Expectations of the Length of the General Practice Consultation
- *Corresponding Author:
- Carter Singh
GP Partner Willowbrook Medical Practice
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: January 25, 2017; Accepted date: February 24, 2017; Published date: February 27, 2017
Citation: Singh C (2017) Does Length Matter? Patients’ Perceptions and Expectations of the Length of the General Practice Consultation. J Gen Pract (Los Angel) 5:293. doi: 10.4172/2329-9126.1000293
Copyright: © 2017 Singh C. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Purpose The length of the average General Practice (GP) consultation is increasing. In 1990 the average length was 8.33 minutes but by 2003 the median consultation length had increased to 13.3 minutes. The aims of this study were to explore patient’s perceptions of the length of the general practice consultation. Methods This is a questionnaire based study with a total sample size of (n=66). The study timeframe was July 2012 to Jan 2013 and the response rate was 82.5%. The study was conducted at a single six-partner GP training practice with a list size of approximately 13000 patients. Results The majority of patients thought that the consultation length was ten minutes. Approximately two thirds of patients did not wish for any changes to be made to the length of their GP consultations. Approximately one third of patients indicated that they would like the average length of the consultation to be longer Conclusions This research suggests that the majority of patients are happy with the length of their GP consultations and do not wish for any change. Perhaps it is the time taken to document the clinical encounter and ‘house-keeping’ duties which are responsible for the late-running of appointments rather than the face to face time spent with the patient? The patient’s satisfaction with the length of the consultation suggests that they are happy with the prioritization and time-management skills of their GPs.