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Health Policy. 2007 Jan;80(1):97-106. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Quality of consultation and the project 'Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands' (SCEN).

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Department of Public and Occupational Health and EMGO Institute, Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Consultation of another physician is one of the requirements for prudent practice. The project 'Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands' (SCEN) is aimed at professionalizing consultation. The objective of this study is to assess whether the quality of consultation was improved through SCEN.


In four districts all general practitioners (GPs) received a pre-test questionnaire approximately six weeks before the start of the project in the period (n=1224, response 71%). In the period from April 2000 to December 2002, all GPs in districts in which SCEN had been implemented received a written post-test questionnaire one and a half years after the start of the project. This post-test questionnaire was returned by 60% of the GPs (n=3614).


In SCEN consultations the attending physicians has no specific relation to the attending physician in 85% of consultations, while this is the case for 31% of other consultations. While before the start of SCEN in 71% of consultations six or seven of the seven criteria for good consultation were met, in SCEN consultations 83% of cases six or seven of these requirements were met. GPS who had consulted a SCEN physician generally were more positive about different aspects than those who consulted another consultant, such as considering the consultant to be able to make an independent judgement (totally agree 74% versus 59%).


Although the quality of consultation appears to be high for both SCEN physicians and other consultants, the SCEN project further contributed to the quality of consultation. Since GPs attach importance to judgement of SCEN physician and have the intention to use it in future, and the quality of consultation stays high over time, this project is expected to maintain its value.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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