Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Use of visual aids in general practice consultations: A questionnaire-based survey.

Hoonakker J-D, Adeline-Duflot F, Orcel V, Grudzinski M-L, Cognet M, Renard V PEC Innov. 2023;2:100159.

OBJECTIVES: Visual aids (VAs) seem effective to improve doctor-patient communication. The objective was to describe how VAs are used in consultation and what French general practitioners (GPs) expect of them.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire among French GPs in 2019. Descriptive and multinominal logistic regression analyses were performed.

RESULTS: Of the 376 respondents, 70% used VAs at least weekly and 34% daily; 94% considered VAs useful/very useful; 77% felt they did not use VAs enough. Sketches were the most used VAs and considered the most useful. Younger age was significantly associated with a higher rate of use of simple digital images. VAs were mainly used to describe anatomy and facilitate patient comprehension. Main reasons for not using VAs more often were time spent searching, lack of habit and poor quality of available VAs. Many GPs requested a database of good quality VAs.

CONCLUSIONS: GPs use VAs regularly in consultations but would like to use them more often. Informing GPs of the usefulness of VAs, training them to draw adapted sketches and creating a good quality databank are some possible strategies to increase the use of VAs.

INNOVATION: This study described in detail the use of VAs as tool for doctor-patient communication.

DOI: 10.1016/j.pecinn.2023.100159