Changes in receptionists' attitudes towards involvement in a general practice-based trial of screening and brief alcohol intervention

Br J Gen Pract. 2000 Feb;50(451):111-5.


Background: Primary health care receptionists are increasingly expected to be involved in research. However, little is known about receptionists' attitudes to research or health programmes.

Aim: To examine changes in receptionists' attitudes, with different levels of training and support, towards involvement in a general practice-based trial of screening and brief alcohol intervention.

Method: Subjects were 84 receptionists, one per practice, who assisted in the implementation of a screening and brief alcohol intervention programme. Receptionists were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: control (no training or support), training alone, and training plus ongoing telephone support. Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were used to assess changes in receptionists' attitudes.

Results: Of 40 items that measured receptionists' attitudes to involvement in the programme, 70% had deteriorated after three months, 20% significantly so. There was no effect of training and support condition. Receptionists' and GPs' attitudes to research and health programmes conflicted.

Conclusion: Receptionists developed more negative views about involvement in research and health programmes over the three-month study period, regardless of level of training and support.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Medical Receptionists / psychology*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Research Design