Discrepancies between patient and professionals recall and perception of an outpatient consultation

Diabet Med. 2003 Nov;20(11):909-14. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-5491.2003.01056.x.


Aims: To explore the degree of agreement between patient and health care professional's perceptions of consultations.

Methods: Immediately after 141 dietitian/nurse specialist consultations, patients and professional's completed the Health Care Climate questionnaire (HCC), Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS) and the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire (TSRQ) In addition, both parties were asked about any key points or issues discussed in the consultation; any decisions that were made about their diabetes treatment today; any goals that were set as a result of today's consultation.

Results: Patient and professional's scores on the HCC and MISS were not correlated (r=0.3 and 0.16). Patient and professionals disagreed on the issues discussed 19.6% of the time, on the decisions made 20.7% of the time and goals set 44.3% of the time. More autonomy support in the consultation was associated with greater autonomous motivation for self-care (r=0.31; P<0.001) more controlled motivation was associated with less agreement on issues discussed and goals set (r=-0.20; r= -0.24; P<0.05).

Conclusion: There is significant disagreement between patients and professionals perceptions and recollection of the content of consultations. Professional's communications skills need to be developed to ensure these discrepancies are minimized. Skills to provide greater autonomy support in the consultation would help to enhance this process and improve outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Outpatients / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Perception*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Self Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires