Patients' preferences for patient centred approach to consultation

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7301.1544 (Published 23 June 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1544

What is patient centredness?

  1. John R Skelton, senior lecturer in communication skills (j.r.skelton@bham.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT
  2. Primary Medical Care Group, Aldermoor Health Centre, Southampton SO16 5ST
  3. Nightingale Surgery, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 7QM
  4. Three Swans Surgery, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 1DX
  5. Sheffield Palliative Care Studies Group, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2RX

    EDITOR—Little et al's study seems to show patients' overwhelming preference for a patient centred approach to consultation in primary care.1 The issue is not so much whether most patients agree that, for example, they “want the doctor to understand [their] main reason for coming” as whether a desire for the contrary would represent a belief in some other kind of approach to the consultation or just be plain odd. In other words, what kind of person could possibly say, and be thought rational, “I don't want the doctor to understand my main reason for coming”?

    I invite readers to review the questionnaire, putting the opposite case in this way and asking themselves how many of the questions are of this type: “I don't want the doctor to be friendly and approachable,” “I …

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