Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Doctor-patient communication in a musculoskeletal unit: Relationship between an observer-rated structured scoring system and patient opinion

Lookup NU author(s): John Williams, Dr Lesley Kay


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Objectives. To investigate the ability of consultant rheumatologists and orthopaedic surgeons to communicate well with patients and to determine the validity of a structured proforma used to assess medical students' communication skills. Methods. Seventy new patient appointments with consultant rheumatologists and orthopaedic surgeons were assessed for communication skills exhibited by the consultants and patient satisfaction. Communication skills were assessed using a proforma previously used to examine medical students, and patient ratings were obtained using visual analogue scales. Results. Median scores attained using the structured proforma for rheumatology, elective orthopaedic and fracture clinic consultations were 17, 15 and 14 out of 20 (P < 0.05). Patient satisfaction scores were high in all three domains measured. Scores were statistically significantly higher for rheumatology appointments than in fracture clinic (median scores 29.5, 29.5 and 28 out of 30). Consultation durations varied, with a median of 23 min for rheumatology and 10.5 and 4 min for orthopaedic surgeons in clinic and fracture clinic, respectively. Conclusions. Consultant rheumatologists and orthopaedic surgeons demonstrate good communication skills, according to a tool used to assess medical students. These scores correlate with patient views, suggesting that teaching and assessment of communication skills at medical schools may address concerns of patients. Scores and satisfaction correlate with the duration of the consultation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Neill J, Williams JR, Kay LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Rheumatology

Year: 2003

Volume: 42

Issue: 12

Pages: 1518-1522

ISSN (print): 1462-0324

ISSN (electronic): 1462-0332

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keg418

PubMed id: 12832716


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric