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Table 4 Intervention studies assessing the effect of booking interval on psychological diagnosis

From: Do longer consultations improve the management of psychological problems in general practice? A systematic literature review

Author/year/location Aim No. of doctors/practices No of patients/consultations Mean consultation length Method of measuring consultation length Method of study % of eligible participating Analysis Conclusions/findings
Morrell 1986 [50]
Roland 1986 [53] UK
To measure variables in relation to consultations booked at different intervals 5/1 60 sessions 780 consultations Booked at 5 mins-mean actual time 5.2; 7.5 mins- 6.7 and 10 mins-7.4 mins. Booked intervals & Actual time measured on audiotape Patients non-systematically booked in at varying intervals. Consultations audio taped and analysed. Dr completed encounter sheet Patient questionnaire 80%
20% incomplete
Logistic regression analysis. Psychological diagnosis more likely to be recorded in consultations booked at longer intervals. Longer consultations associated with more time being spent on history taking.
Risdale 1989 UK [51] To study the effect of different appointment intervals on process and outcome measures in GP consultations 2/1 961 Booked at 5 mins-mean 6.6;Booked at 10 mins-mean 8;Booked at 15 mins-mean 9.2 Visits audio taped. Intervention Consultations audio taped and analysed, using same techniques as Morrell and Roland Patient questionnaires 96% of pts agreed to participate. Data complete for 95% of consultations Regression analysis of various outcome variables. Increased consultation length assoc with increased doctor questions, patient questions & statements.