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Managing challenging interactions

Post date: 02/02/2015

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 14/11/2018

Every GP will experience challenging patients, says GP and Head of Member Education for MPS Dr Mark Dinwoodie, the key is how to manage those interactions in the best way. Around 15% of clinical interactions are classified as “difficult”, these are associated with increased investigations, increased medicolegal risk and decreased patient satisfaction.

“Difficulty” is more about our perception of the challenge of the interaction, than any characteristic of the patient, says Dr Dinwoodie. There are a number of human factors that contribute to the difficulty: interactions are increasingly difficult if we are hungry, angry, late or tired (HALT). Our feelings can influence our behaviour (often subconsciously). Acknowledging these feelings helps us to be aware of and regulate their impact on our behaviour.

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