Achieving a patient-centred consultation by giving feedback in its early phases
- aDepartment of Primary Care, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK, bSchool of Medicine, University of Hull, East Riding Campus, Hull HU10 6NS, UK
- Dr Hak, Department of Primary Care, University of Liverpool, Whelan Building, Quadrangle, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK
- Accepted 9 February 1999
The traditional medical consultation comprises history, examination, and investigations, followed by explanation to the patient of diagnosis and management. In the course of studying a series of tape-recorded consultations in a specialist medical clinic for chronic fatigue, we have observed a different structure. In some consultations, those categorised as more ‘patient-centred’, doctors introduced explanation and education into the early history-taking stage. This strategy is contrasted with the traditional approach, where the doctor only elicits information during the history, and gives an explanation later. The ‘early feedback’ strategy may result in patients with chronic illnesses achieving greater understanding of their symptoms. We discuss the implication of these findings for medical training.