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J Psychosom Res. 1996 Jan;40(1):87-94.

The Patient Requests Form: a way of measuring what patients want from their general practitioner.

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GI Unit, Gloucester Royal Hospital, U.K.


A consumer-oriented approach to the delivery of health care and an understanding of the processes that influence clinical management decisions require the measurement of what patients seek when they consult their doctor. The present study completed the development of an instrument (the Patient Requests Form) that can quantify the intentions of patients attending their general practitioner. The Patient Requests Form was completed by 410 patients attending two general practices: one in an inner city area, the other in a small town. Principal components analysis revealed that the responses from each sample yielded identical components that described three distinct types of request: (i) for explanation and reassurance, (ii) for emotional support, and (iii) for investigation and treatment. Scales constructed to measure each type of request have high internal consistency while being sufficiently brief to be acceptable to general practice patients. The Patient Requests Form is a novel, convenient method to quantify the intentions of patients when they consult a general practitioner. It permits research into neglected aspects of consultation behaviour, including the factors that influence patients' intentions to seek different kinds of help and GPs' perceptions of these intentions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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