Does receiving a copy of correspondence improve patients' satisfaction with their out-patient consultation?

J Laryngol Otol. 2003 Feb;117(2):126-9. doi: 10.1258/002221503762624576.


It is standard practice to write to a patient's general practitioner (GP) following an out-patients consultation. This study set out to assess whether sending a copy of this letter to the patient improves their satisfaction with the consultation. Two hundred patients were randomly assigned to receive or not to receive a copy of their GP letter. Their satisfaction was then assessed by means of a postal questionnaire. The two groups were compared to ensure that their was no significant difference between them with regard to any other aspect of their consultation. Those who did not receive a copy letter had a median overall satisfaction score of 7.75 whilst those who did had a median score of 9.0 (p = 0.014). The only other factors predictive of overall satisfaction were receiving an explanation of the problem and spending sufficient time with the doctor. Sending patients a copy of correspondence to their GP is one means of aiding communication and improving overall satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Correspondence as Topic*
  • England
  • Family Practice
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Logistic Models
  • Medical Records*
  • Otolaryngology / organization & administration*
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Patient Access to Records / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires