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Br J Gen Pract. 1991 Mar;41(344):119-22.

Consultation length in general practice: a review.

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  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Nottingham.


Although there is evidence that consultation length has increased in the UK over the last 20 years, it is still short by international standards, and is blamed in part by both general practitioners and the public for failure to deliver high quality care. Consultation length is determined by both doctor and patient variables and these need to be looked at when interpreting observational studies linking longer consultations to beneficial outcomes. Studies of the same doctors consulting at different rates suggest that while many aspects of a doctor's behaviour do not change, longer consultations may be associated with greater patient satisfaction and increased health education/prevention measures.

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