Patient attendants views on their role in doctor–patient consultation

Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Family Medicine


Objectives: To study patient attendant’s views regarding their role in doctor-patient consultation.
Methods: A Questionnaire-based survey was conducted at the Family Practice Center, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, in June 2004. The Questionnaire included a demographic profile of patient’s attendant and questions in line with the study objective. It was administered by study investigators to 100 individuals, visiting Family Practice clinics. Ethical requirements including the administration of written informed consent and the provision of confidentiality were ensured. SPSS computer software was used for data management.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 36.91 years, with a majority comprising well-educated housewives. Well over 90% of the attendants expect the physician and the patient to allow them to sit during consultation, while 95 (95%) expect the physician to ask questions from them about the patient’s medical problem. Eighty-nine (89%) attendants feel that their presence during consultation can assist in the treatment. Ninety-seven (97%) attendants believe they have a right to ask questions about the patient’s medical condition, eighty-eight (88%) feel they can exert a positive influence in the treatment of the patient, while 89 (89%) believe that patient and attendant should be considered as a unit. Ninety (90%) attendants do not agree that a patient attendant has no role other than accompanying him/her and facilitating the visit to the physician.
Conclusions: The findings of our study suggest that the patient’s attendant should not be considered merely a person accompanying and facilitating patient visit but one that can exert a positive influence on the patient’s medical care.


Hungarian Medical Journal