Access to chronic disease care in general practice

the acceptability of implementing systematic waiting-room screening using computer-based patient-reported risk status

Christine L. Paul, Mariko Carey, Sze Lin Yoong, Catherine D'Este, Meredith Makeham, Frans Henskens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Routine screening and advice regarding risky lifestyle behaviours is appropriate in the primary care setting, but often not implemented. Routine electronic collection of patients' self-reported data may streamline the collection of such information. Aim: To explore the perceptions of GPs and their attending patients regarding the acceptability of waiting-room touchscreen computers for the collection of health behaviour information. Uptake, ease of operation, and the perceived likelihood of future implementation were studied. Design and setting: Cross-sectional health-risk survey. General practices in metropolitan areas in Australia. Method: Practices were randomly selected by postcode. Consecutive patients who were eligible to take part in the study were approached in the waiting room and invited to do so. Participants completed the touchscreen health survey. A subsample of patients and GPs completed additional items regarding acceptability. Results: Twelve general practices participated in the study, with 4058 patients (86%) and 51 of 68 (75%) GPs consenting to complete the health-risk survey, 596 patients and 30 GPs were selected to complete the acceptability survey. A majority of the 30 GPs indicated that the operation of the survey was not disruptive to practice and more than 90% of patients responded positively to all items regarding its operation. More than three-quarters of the patient sample were willing to consider allowing their responses to be kept on file and complete such surveys in the future. Conclusion: As waiting-room-based collection of this information appears to be both feasible and acceptable, practitioners should consider collecting and incorporating routine patient-reported health behaviours for inclusion in the medical record.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E620-E626
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number614
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • acceptability
  • chronic disease
  • e-health
  • general practice
  • primary care
  • touchscreen computer

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