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Nurse practitioner consultations in primary health care: a case study-based survey of patients’ pre-consultation expectations, and post-consultation satisfaction and enablement

  • Julian Barratt (a1) and Nicola Thomas (a2)

Abstract

Background

Research has not yet fully investigated links to consultation duration, patient expectations, satisfaction, and enablement in nurse practitioner consultations. This study was developed to address some of these research gaps in nurse practitioner consultations, particularly with a focus on expectations, satisfaction, and enablement.

Aim

To explore the influence of pre-consultation expectations, and consultation time length durations on patient satisfaction and enablement in nurse practitioner consultations in primary health care.

Design

Survey component of a larger convergent parallel mixed methods case study designed to conjointly investigate the communication processes, social interactions, and measured outcomes of nurse practitioner consultations. The survey element of the case study focusses on investigating patients’ pre-consultation expectations and post-consultation patient satisfaction and enablement.

Methods

A questionnaire measuring pre-consultation expectations, and post-consultation satisfaction and enablement, completed by a convenience sample of 71 adults consulting with nurse practitioners at a general practice clinic. Initial fieldwork took place in September 2011 to November 2012, with subsequent follow-up fieldwork in October 2016.

Results

Respondents were highly satisfied with their consultations and expressed significantly higher levels of enablement than have been seen in previous studies of enablement with other types of clinicians (P=0.003). A significant, small to moderate, positive correlation of 0.427 (P=0.005) between general satisfaction and enablement was noted. No significant correlation was seen between consultation time lengths and satisfaction or enablement.

Conclusion

Higher levels of patient enablement and satisfaction are not necessarily determined by the time lengths of consultations, and how consultations are conducted may be more important than their time lengths for optimising patient satisfaction and enablement.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits nrestricted re-se, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Dr Julian Barratt, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Gorway Road, Walsall WS1 3BD, UK. E-mail: julian.barratt@wlv.ac.uk

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