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Research Article

Assessing the consultation: methods of observing trainees in general practice.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 02 June 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1659
  1. M Pringle,
  2. S Robins,
  3. G Brown


    We compared two different methods of observing trainees at work in general practice: the traditional one of a senior or training general practitioner sitting in during selected surgeries and the more modern video recording, with the patients' written consent. Patients who had experienced the presence of a second doctor during the consultation were less likely to show an increase in arousal after their consultations than those who had been recorded on video. Patients who refused consent to be recorded were more highly stressed than those who agreed and showed smaller decreases in stress after consultations. The presence of two doctors generated fewer reductions in stress after the consultation than video recording did, but this was a non-significant trend. The group that was recorded on video did not differ appreciably from a control group in changes in stress or arousal.