Do patients and expert doctors agree on the assessment of consultation skills?: A comparison of two patient consultation assessment scales with the video component of the MRCGP

B. McKinstry, J. Walker, D. Blaney, David James Heaney, D. Begg

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Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patient ratings of general practice Registrars' consulting skills are associated with 'expert' scoring using the MRCGP video assessment protocol.

Methods. A cross-sectional observational study of general practice Registrars' consultation skills was carried out in 23 practices in South East Scotland using two types of patient assessment compared with expert assessment of video consultation. The main outcome measures were rank correlation of Registrars' overall level of attainment on the Royal College of General Practitioner (RCGP) video assessment with mean score on the Patient Enablement Instrument (PEI) and mean score on the Consultation Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ).

Results. The rank correlation of Registrars' mean PEI scores with marks on the RCGP video component was 0.01 (P = 0.97, n = 19) and mean CSQ score 0.05 (P = 0.83, n = 19). There were no adverse comments from patients, but Registrars and trainers found the process onerous.

Conclusion. No meaningful association was identified between Registrars' score on the RCGP video examination and patient assessment via either the PEI or the CSQ. This suggests that, with regard to measuring quality in the consultation, one or more of the assessments are invalid or that they are measuring different attributes. Further research to elucidate the reasons for the lack of correlation is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • assessment
  • consultation skills
  • patients
  • Registrars
  • CARE

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