[The time used by the patient when he/she talks without interruptions]

Aten Primaria. 1993 Mar 15;11(4):175-7.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To measure the time used by a patient to explain the reason for his/her visit to the general practitioner, when he/she is permitted to talk freely and without interruption.

Design: A descriptive study where only previously known patients, who had a new reason for a consultation, were considered.

Settings: Visits to general practitioners' offices in Slovenia and Croatia.

Participants: Six general practitioners (two Slovenes and four Croatians) who recorded the time spent on 480 consultations.

Measurements and main results: The period of time measured was that used by the patients, at the beginning of the consultation, to reply to the doctor's question: "What can I do for you today?" Average time used by the patients was 28.6 seconds. There was a link between the older age group and a longer time period. There were no gender differences.

Conclusions: Patients are able to explain calmly and without interruptions the reason for their visit. Interruptions by the doctor are probably unnecessary and do not save time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Communication*
  • Croatia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patients* / statistics & numerical data
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Referral and Consultation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Slovenia
  • Time Factors
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data