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Fam Pract. 1996 Dec;13(6):504-10.

General practice receptionists' attitudes and beliefs towards preventive medicine before and after training and support interventions.

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  • 1Centre for Drug and Alcohol Studies, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Receptionists are an integral part of the primary care service. We aimed to discover their views on preventive medicine issues.


One hundred and fifty receptionists from general practices in Sydney, Australia, completed a questionnaire on their attitudes and beliefs towards preventive medicine and brief intervention for alcohol. They were matched according to practice variables into a control, no, minimal, or maximal training and support condition. In all conditions except the control condition, receptionists received 5 minutes of initial training in implementing a brief intervention programme; the amount of ongoing support varied across conditions. Attitudes and beliefs were re-assessed 3 months later.


The results indicated that when no training and support were given, receptionists developed negative views towards being involved in preventive medicine activities. When training and support were provided, these negative effects were abolished.

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