Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: Skin complaints are common in primary care, and poor outcomes in long-term conditions are often due to low adherence to treatment. Shared decision making and self-management support may help, yet there is little understanding of patient involvement or the support provided by GPs. Aim: To describe the content of primary care consultations for skin problems, including shared decision making practice, delivery of self-management advice, and follow-up. Design and setting: Cross-sectional study of video-recorded UK adult GP consultations and linked data. Method: A coding tool was developed and applied to all consultations with skin problems. Shared decision making was assessed using the observer OPTION5 scale. Results: A total of 45/318 consultations (14.2%) related to one or more skin problems, which were discussed alongside other problems in 71.1% (32/45) of consultations. Of the 100 different problems discussed in these consultations, 51 were dermatological. The mean amount of time spent on skin problems in the consultations was 4 minutes 16 seconds. Medication was recommended for 66.7% (34/51) of skin problems, with low shared decision making (mean OPTION5 score = 10.7). Self-management advice (verbal only) was given for 47.1% (24/51) of skin problems. Most skin problems (84.3%; 43/51) were not referred to secondary care; 32.6% (14/43) of the skin problems not referred were seen again in primary care within 12 weeks, of which 35.7% (5/14) follow-up appointments were not planned. Conclusion: In this study, skin problems were usually presented alongside other complaints and resulted in a medication recommendation. Shared decision making was uncommon and self-management advice not consistently given, with re-attendance for the same problem common. GPs’ training should reflect how frequently skin problems are seen and seek to improve patient involvement in decision making and support self-management.

More information Original publication

DOI

10.3399/bjgp20X712577

Type

Journal article

Journal

BJGP

Publisher

BJGP

Publication Date

07/09/2020

Addresses

Project no: 202

Keywords

decision making, shared dermatology primary care self-management