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The acceptability of simulated patients for studying and assessing general practice consultations in the United Kingdom

Kinnersley, P; Ben-Shlomo, Y; Hawthorne, K; Donovan, J; Chaturvedi, N; (2005) The acceptability of simulated patients for studying and assessing general practice consultations in the United Kingdom. Education for Primary Care , 16 (5) pp. 540-546.

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Abstract

'Announced' and 'unannounced' simulated patients have been used internationally to study the content of consultations. However, 'unannounced' patients have not been widely used in the United Kingdom and there have been concerns about the ethics of their use for assessment. Our objective was to measure the acceptability of these methods to assess the consultations of British general practitioners (GPs). We undertook a cross-sectional questionnaire of 2000 GPs in England and Wales. Participants were asked whether they were prepared to see either unannounced simulated patients only (25%), announced simulated patients only (25%), or both (50%). Half of each group were offered a chance of a monetary reward for responding. Of 1724 eligible doctors, 987 (57.3%) returned the questionnaire. Of these, 374 (37.9%) were willing to see either an announced and/or an unannounced patient. Having the MRCGP/FRCGP, past experience of working with simulated patients, being part of a teaching or research network and qualifying more recently were all associated with greater willingness to see unannounced patients. The monetary reward worsened to the rate of return of the questionnaire. © 2005 Radcliffe Publishing Limited.

Type: Article
Title: The acceptability of simulated patients for studying and assessing general practice consultations in the United Kingdom
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1432276
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