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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2014 Jul 17;24:14026.
doi: 10.1038/npjpcrm.2014.26.

Exploring Patients' Views of Primary Care Consultations With Contrasting Interventions for Acute Cough: A Six-Country European Qualitative Study

Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Exploring Patients' Views of Primary Care Consultations With Contrasting Interventions for Acute Cough: A Six-Country European Qualitative Study

Sarah Tonkin-Crine et al. NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. .
Free PMC article


Background: In a pan-European randomised controlled trial (GRACE INTRO) of two interventions, (i) a point-of-care C-reactive protein test and/or (ii) training in communication skills and use of an interactive patient booklet, both interventions resulted in large reductions in antibiotic prescribing for acute cough.

Aims: This process evaluation explored patients' views of primary care consultations using the two interventions in six European countries.

Methods: Sixty-two interviews were conducted with patients who had participated in the GRACE INTRO trial. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and translated into English where necessary. Analysis used techniques from thematic and framework analysis.

Results: Most patients were satisfied with their consultation despite many not receiving an antibiotic. Patients appeared to accept the use of both intervention approaches. A minority, but particularly in the trial arm with both interventions, reported that they would wait longer before consulting for cough in future.

Conclusions: Patients perceived that both interventions supported the general practitioner's (GP's) prescribing decisions by helping them understand when an antibiotic was, and was not, needed. Patients consulting with acute cough had largely positive views about the GP's enhanced communication skills, which included understanding their concerns, and the use of a near-patient test as an additional investigation.

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