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.


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