Bowel clinic survey: telephone versus face-to-face consultations
A comparison of the level of satisfaction for patients who had a face-to-face consultation versus a consultation carried out by telephone in a 2-week wait bowel clinic was performed using an adapted version of Grogan et al's (2000) validated patient satisfaction questionnaire. The authors asked 10 questions to assess patient satisfaction in three major areas:
The face-to-face group scored their experience as being more positive on all 10 survey questions compared with telephone patients. This difference was particularly marked for questions concerning the patient's experience with, and opinion of, the health professional. Age was a confounding factor in our study, and there was some evidence that negatively phrased questions were sometimes misunderstood.
The results suggest that telephone consultations may present a challenge to patient satisfaction. However, the study had systematic methodological limitations that may have confounded these results and contributed to the observed pattern. The authors make some suggestions for how to rectify such limitations in future studies.
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