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Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 188, Issue 1, pp 273–275 | Cite as

Duration of opening statement of patients attending a chronic pain clinic consultation

  • Ather Imran
  • Deepak Doltani
  • Jean Saunders
  • Dominic HarmonEmail author
Original Article
  • 39 Downloads

Abstract

Background

The opening patient statement is an important part of the medical consultation. It is where after the initial solicitation the physician gets information about the patient’s current problems and concerns. Previous research shows that 23–28% of patients are allowed to complete their opening statement un-interruptedly in the general practice setting. Interruption results in fewer patient concerns expressed and failure to gather potentially important patient information.

Objectives

The objective of the study was to assess the duration of opening statements of patients attending a chronic pain clinic consultation.

Study design

Prospective observational study

Setting

Chronic pain clinic. University teaching hospital

Methods

Following written informed consent, data was collected prospectively from 100 adult patients attending a chronic pain clinic consultation at a university hospital. We recorded the time of the opening statement following a standardized opening question by the pain physician. No verbal or non-verbal interruption by the physician was made during the patient’s opening statement.

Results

Out of 100 adult patients, 37% (n = 37) were male and 63% (n = 63) were female. Mean age (years) was 54.4. The mean opening statement time was 89 s.

Limitations

The study is limited by being a single-centered study.

Conclusions

The duration of opening statements of patients attending a chronic pain clinic consultation when systematically studied takes a very short amount of time. It is important that all interruptions should be avoided. Our findings should encourage physicians to allow patients to complete their opening statements un-interruptedly in the chronic pain clinic.

Keywords

Communication Consultation 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ather Imran
    • 1
  • Deepak Doltani
    • 1
  • Jean Saunders
    • 2
  • Dominic Harmon
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate Entry Medical SchoolUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  2. 2.SCU/CSTAR @ ULUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesia and Pain MedicineLimerick University HospitalLimerickIreland

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