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Inform Prim Care. 2003;11(3):149-56.

Using three-channel video to evaluate the impact of the use of the computer on the patient-centredness of the general practice consultation.

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  • 1Primary Care Informatics, Department of Community Health Sciences, Hunter Wing, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE, UK.


The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of using three-channel video to explore the impact of the computer on general practitioner (GP) consultations. A previous study had highlighted the limitations of using single-channel video: firstly, there was a lack of information about exactly how the computer was being used, and secondly difficulty in interpreting the body language of the consulting clinician. More information was needed to understand the impact of the computer on the consultation, and in this pilot three-channel video was used to overcome these constraints. Four doctors consulted, with the patient's role played by an actor with a preset script and preloaded personal and family history record programmed into the computer. The output was analysed using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) and observational methods were used to explore the effect of computers on aspects of verbal and non-verbal behaviour and the completeness of the computer data record. Three-channel video proved to be a feasible and valuable technique for the analysis of primary care GP consultations, with advantages over single-channel video. Interesting differences in non-verbal and verbal behaviour became apparent with different types of computer use during the consultation. Implications for the three-channel video technique for training, monitoring GP competence and providing feedback are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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