The elicitation and management of multiple health concerns in GP consultations
Beth Stuart, Geraldine Leydon, Catherine Woods, Elizabeth Gennery, Christopher Elsey, Rachael Summers, Fiona Stevenson, Carolyn Chew-Graham, Rebecca Barnes, Paul Drew, Michael Moore, Paul Little
Objective: To describe the nature of patient concerns and to explore if, when and how they are addressed by GPs in the UK. Methods: Detailed coding and descriptive analysis of 185 video recordings from the EPaC study (Elicitation of Patient Concerns, EPaC) Results: An average of 2.1 concerns were raised per consultation and the most common concerns were musculoskeletal, administrative (e.g. test results and medication related issues), and skin symptoms. GPs who had been trained as part of the EPaC intervention to solicit for additional concerns in the opening phase of the consultation did so 92.6% of the time. In contrast, those in the control arm did so only 7% of the time. However, the particular formulation of the GP soliciting question does not seem to be associated with the likelihood of the patient volunteering an additional concern. Conclusions: GP consultations are complex encounters in which multiple concerns are dealt with across a wide range of disease areas. GPs can be trained to solicit for problems/concerns early in the consultation. Practice implications: Soliciting for additional concerns is not routinely done. But very brief training can substantially help in eliciting concerns early in the consultation, which may help with organising the consultation.