Aim: To develop a feasible/theoretically based training programme in patient-centred consulting, for evaluation in a randomised controlled trial of diabetes care from diagnosis.
Methods: The programme was developed with four primary care teams and their patients in an action research framework, with observation of diabetes review consultations before and after training, and evaluated by questionnaire after each training session, among 23 general practitioners and 32 practice nurses from 21 practices in the trial.
Results: The observation study identified opportunities and obstacles to introducing a patient-centred approach into daily practice, especially in relation to time management and skill needs. The modified training programme was rated highly by participating general practitioners and nurses.
Conclusions: Developing training programmes with the help of participating primary care teams ensures relevance and feasibility. Patient-centred consulting demands a shift from habitual consulting patterns. Practitioners are implementing the approach in practice, and the impact on patients is now under evaluation in the randomised controlled trial.