Interventions to alter the length of consultations with primary care clinicians: effects are uncertain

Added May 5, 2020

Citation: Wilson AD, Childs S, Gonçalves‐Bradley DC, et al. Interventions to increase or decrease the length of primary care physicians’ consultation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016; 8: CD003540

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare systems and healthcare workers. Existing research into intervention to alter the length of consultations between primary care clinicians and patients may provide policy makers with information to help with this.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for randomized and non-randomized controlled trials of interventions intended to alter the length of primary care consultations. They did their search in January 2016. They included 2 randomized trials and 3 non-randomized trials (all from the UK), and rated the overall strength of the evidence as very low. They also identified one ongoing study (also from the UK).

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Whether altering the length of a primary appointment care leads to changes in the actual length of the consultation, number or referrals and examinations, prescriptions, resources used or patient satisfaction is uncertain.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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