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The average time spent by the general practitioner in the consultation with his patients is approximately 9 Minutes per patient [1, 2]. During this time a GP has to appraise a patients state of health, must diagnose or examine the presenting situation, has to decide on prescription or referral, and must supplement the patient records on file [2]. Can this be enough to understand a patient case, the cause, the treatment and prospective development under medication? How much is likely to be missed in only 9 Minutes of face-to-face interaction with the GP? In times where “not only the diagnosis, but also the treatment of patients has become more complex” [3, (n.p.)] such a short engagement with a patient must ultimately be seen as a “risk-factor” [4, (p. S35)]. Reduced time spent with the patient in the patient-practitioner encounter, may be the cause of reduction in patient compliance and satisfaction, and may promote negative impact on outcomes due to improper prescribing and subsequent potential adverse effects [2].

Albeit the fact that research has shown that physicians that devote more time to their patients, arouse increased confidence in the patients, for the targeted treatment regime, and subsequently promote better treatment outcomes [1, 3], an average of 10 Minutes spent with the patient in the consultation is considered as indicative of quality of a routine appointment [3].

Therefore, as homeopaths, we are clearly at an advantage where the time spent with the patient in the therapeutic union is concerned. In homeopathy we facilitate, to a much greater extent, a space for the patient where he or she can feel confident, and supported. This is a major factor where homeopathy and conventional medicine differ.

Yet, time is not the sole factor that renders the homeopathic therapeutic union especially valuable for the patient-practitioner interaction in the consultation. It is however an indispensable basis for other supportive aspects of the therapeutic alliance, to evolve. These elements, if brought into the consultation, may be essential for the successful appraisal of a patients case-history, and as a consequence may ultimately support patients in their recovery.

 

Continue reading about the therapeutic relationship at:….http://cleverhthemag.com/

 

References:

[1] Ogden, J., Bavalia, K., Bull, M., Frankum, S., Goldie, C., Gosslau, M., Jones, A., Kumar, S. & Vasant, K. (2004) “I want more time with my doctor”: a quantitative study of time and the consultation Family Practice Vol. 21, No.5, pp. 479-483 [online] last accessed August 2014, available at: DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmh502

[2] Chen, P. (2013) For new doctors, 8 Minutes per Patient The New York Times [online] last accessed August 2014, available at URL: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/for-new-doctors-8-minutes-per-patient/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

[3] Oxtoby, K. (2010) Consultation times BMJ Careers [online] last accessed August 2014, available at URL: http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=20001044

[4] Dugdale, D. , Epstein, R. & Panilat, S. (1999) Time and the patient-practitioner relationship JGIM Vol. 14, pp. S34- S40

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