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J Family Med Prim Care. 2013 Jul;2(3):283-7. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.120767.

Role and Influence of the Patient's Companion in Family Medicine Consultations: "The Patient's Perspective".

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1
Department of Family Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Companions often accompany the patient in family medicine clinics and may influence the consultation. This study aims to determine the patients' perspective regarding the role and influence of the companion in the consultation process.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted at the family medicine clinics of a university hospital. Adult patients accompanied by companions during the consultation were interviewed through a structured questionnaire. Attributes with respect to role and influence of companion on the consultation were assessed. Data was entered and analyzed through IBM Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) software version 18 using the Chi-square test.

RESULTS:

A total of 100 patients accompanied by companions participated in the study. Majority of companions were present to either provide company (90%) and/or emotional support (90%). Immediate relatives had a role in mobility (P = 0.016) and decision making (P = 0.006). Most companions remained passive and did not contribute to the doctor patient relationship (P = 0.058). Male companions were relatively helpful (54% vs. 25%, P = 0.008) in achieving the expectations from the visit. The companion played a supportive role in 62% of the consultations.

CONCLUSION:

This study signifies a supportive role of companion in a consultation which emphasizes the need of consultation models to include the "companion."

KEYWORDS:

Accompanying person; companion; family medicine consultation

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