Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Computer assisted screening: effect on the patient and his consultation.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 08 June 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1709
  1. M Pringle,
  2. S Robins,
  3. G Brown


    The initial impact of computer assisted preventive screening in general practice consultations has been monitored. The technology has not been found stressful by patients, and the power of the consultation to alleviate low arousal has been increased by computer use. No appreciable increase in the durations of consultation was detected, despite an average computer initiated input of two minutes eight seconds. The computer has successfully prompted preventive screening and health education with a sixfold increase in the number of potentially relevant procedures being mentioned. The actual information presented by the computer has been shown to be crucial, with the terminal's mere presence an ineffective reminder. The computer terminal was used in 65% of the consultations for which it was available, which, if sustained, represents an effective screening programme for attending patients.