Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

The "five minute" consultation: effect of time constraint on verbal communication.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 29 March 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:874
  1. M O Roland,
  2. J Bartholomew,
  3. M J Courtenay,
  4. R W Morris,
  5. D C Morrell


    In a study in which patients were allocated non-systematically to surgeries booked at 5, 7.5, and 10 minute intervals 623 consultations were taperecorded. In surgeries booked at longer intervals doctors used the extra time to take a fuller history from their patients. In surgeries booked at 10 minute intervals doctors spent more time explaining the patient's problem, explaining the proposed management, and in discussing prevention and health education, these increases not being evident in surgeries booked at 7.5 minute intervals.