Open Access Research article

Patient initiated clinics for patients with chronic or recurrent conditions managed in secondary care: a systematic review of patient reported outcomes and patient and clinician satisfaction

Rebecca Whear1*, Abdul-Kareem Abdul-Rahman1, Jo Thompson-Coon1, Kate Boddy2, Mark G Perry3 and Ken Stein4

Author Affiliations

1 Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC), University of Exeter, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 4SG, England

2 Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC), Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 4SG, England

3 Rheumatology Plymouth Healthcare NHS Trust, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 4SG, England

4 Public Health, University of Exeter, Veysey Building, Salmon Pool Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 4SG, England

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:501  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-501

Published: 1 December 2013

Abstract

Background

The cost to the NHS of missed or inappropriate hospital appointments is considerable. Alternative methods of appointment scheduling might be more flexible to patients’ needs without jeopardising health and service quality. The objective was to systematically review evidence of patient initiated clinics in secondary care on patient reported outcomes among patients with chronic/recurrent conditions.

Methods

Seven databases were searched from inception to June 2013. Hand searching of included studies references was also conducted. Studies comparing the effects of patient initiated clinics with traditional consultant led clinics in secondary care for patients with long term chronic or recurrent diseases on health related quality of life and/or patient satisfaction were included. Data was extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. Results were synthesised narratively.

Results

Seven studies were included in the review, these covered a total of 1,655 participants across three conditions: breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Quality of reporting was variable. Results showed no significant differences between the intervention and control groups for psychological and health related quality of life outcomes indicating no evidence of harm. Some patients reported significantly more satisfaction using patient-initiated clinics than usual care (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

The results show potential for patient initiated clinics to result in greater patient and clinician satisfaction. The patient-consultant relationship appeared to play an important part in patient satisfaction and should be considered an important area of future research as should the presence or absence of a guidebook to aid self-management. Patient initiated clinics fit the models of care suggested by policy makers and so further research into long term outcomes for patients and service use in this area of practice is both relevant and timely.