The suggestion that increased consultation length leads to improved patient satisfaction has some evidence, albeit uncertain. Importantly there are other determinants within the doctor-patient consultation that themselves may be responsible for this improved satisfaction and it is these we investigate in this paper. A systematic review of PubMed and associated papers was carried out using search terms 'family practice consultation length', 'general practice consultation length', 'local health authority consultation length' and 'primary care consultation length'. 590 papers were originally selected using these search terms, post scoring this number became 9. The results obtained support the idea that consultation length does not directly improve consultation outcome, but rather there are variables integrated within the consultation affecting this. Increased time purely allows a physician to implement management, particularly relating to psychosocial aspects.
Keywords: Communication; consultation; patients; time.