Background/introduction The initial encounter between health professional and patient is fundamental to establishing rapport. It is important in a sexual health setting that patients feel at ease with however they are identified in the waiting area. Recent research suggested patients with HIV preferred to be identified by first name whereas most others preferred a number, and all patients in these categories should be called in these ways.
Aim(s)/objectives To determine the proportion of patients who expressed a preference to how they were called from the waiting room. And, to determine whether there was any association with reason for attendance, age, gender or HIV status.
Methods 167 patients who attended a drop-in clinic in October 2014 and 50 patients with HIV who had recently attended for HIV care were identified and included. Pearson’s Chi-Squared Test was used to analyse the relationship between calling preference and sex, reason for attendance, and age (based on the median age of 26). When assumptions were not met, Fisher’s exact test was used.
Results 60.8% (n = 132) of patients expressed no preference as to how they would like to be called from the waiting area. 36.4% requested their real details be used, 2.8% requested false details be used (n = 6). There was no statistical significance found between reason for attendance and preference (p = 0.406), age and sex did not significantly influence preference (p = 0.172, p = 0.288).
Discussion/conclusion The results suggest offering every patient the choice of how they wish to be addressed would be the most appropriate method used to call patients from the waiting area.
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