Table 5

Comparison of communication performance between American family physicians9 face-to-face and GPs on the telephone.

Communication behaviourFamily physicianaGPb
Data gathering
 Closed-ended questions on biomedical topics18.65.91
 Open-ended questions on biomedical topics3.00.49
  Ratio of closed to open questions on biomedical topics6.212.06
 Closed-ended questions on psychosocial topics6.81.00
 Open-ended questions on psychosocial topics1.50.16
  Ratio of closed to open questions on psychosocial topics4.536.25
  Ratio of questions on all biomedical to all psychosocial topics2.605.52
Patient education and counselling
 Provides biomedical information37.610.44
 Provides psychosocial information7.60.16
 Counsels biomedical13.84.93
 Counsels psychosocial81.02
  Ratio of information on all biomedical topics to information given on all psychosocial topics3.2913.03