The potential of alternatives to face-to-face consultation in general practice, and the impact on different patient groups: a mixed-methods case study. 2018. (accessed 4 July 2019)

Akobeng AK, O'Leary N, Vail A Telephone consultation as a substitute for routine out-patient face-to-face consultation for children with inflammatory bowel disease: randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation. EBioMedicine. 2015; 2:(9)1251-1256

Burroughs TE, Waterman BM, Cira JC, Desikan R, Claiborne Dunagan W. Patient satisfaction measurement strategies: a comparison of phone and mail methods. Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 2001; 27:(7)349-361

Car J, Sheikh A. Telephone consultations. BMJ. 2003; 326:(7396)966-969

Concerns and confidence of general practitioners in providing telephone consultations. 1999. (accessed 4 July 2019)

Grogan S, Conner M, Norman P, Willits D, Porter I. Validation of a questionnaire measuring patient satisfaction with general practitioner services. Qual Health Care. 2000; 9:(4)210-215

Schwarz N. Retrospective and concurrent self-reports: The rationale for real-time data capture. The science of real-time data capture: self-reports in health research. In: Connor M (ed). New York (NY): Guildford Press; 2007

Bowel clinic survey: telephone versus face-to-face consultations

11 July 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 13

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.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content