Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

List size and patient contact in general medical practice.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 01 December 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1501
  1. D Wilkin,
  2. D H Metcalfe


    One hundred and ninety nine general practitioners collected data on consultations with patients for a representative sample of recording days. The number of consultations and amount of time spent in patient contact were positively correlated with the number of registered patients (list size), whereas the consultation rate and the amount of time spent with each patient were negatively correlated. These relations, however, were not too strong, and there was considerable variation among doctors, particularly for those with lower list sizes. These findings have implications for issues concerning quality of care and the potential effects of reductions in patient list size.