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Rev Calid Asist. 2008 Mar;23(2):45-51. doi: 10.1016/S1134-282X(08)70469-X. Epub 2008 Dec 14.

¿Cuáles son las expectativas de los pacientes cuando acuden a una consulta de atención primaria y qué piensan los médicos sobre ellas?

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad Docente de Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria de Córdoba. Nodo COGRAMA RedIAPP. Facultad de Medicina de Córdoba. Córdoba. España. Electronic address:



To assess patient expectations at general practitioner (GP) visits, and compare them with what GPs think about them.


Cross sectional study of patients attending GPs consultations. Physicians sample from Andalusia. Before the consultation patients were asked to select, from a list of 10 expectations, the most important they had for that particular visit. They were then asked to prioritise them into the 3 most and least important. Doctors received the list of 10 expectations and were asked to select which expectations they considered as the most important for a patient when consulting; doctors had also to prioritise the 3 most and least important expectations.


The study included 805 patients, 140 physicians. Out of the list of ten expectations, patients marked as important for that particular visit an average of 7.7. 797 (99%) patients claimed the important ones for them were three or more, but 207 (30%) were not able to prioritise more than two. When doctors prioritised the most important expectation, within the first three, they coincided with patients in two of them: the first, (listening) and the third (explaining). Similarly, doctors coincided with patients in the two least important expectations: to be referred and to receive a prescription. Out of the list of ten expectations, doctors over-scored significantly the patients wishes for receiving a diagnosis (43%), advice (40%), to be referred (35%), to receive a prescription (25%), a test (17%) and be examined (15%).


General expectations as regards physician-patient communication are more important for patients than other more specific ones. Generally, physicians agree with patients in this assessment, but they over-estimated patient wishes of receiving prescriptions, tests or to be referred.

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