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Questionnaires will be adequately filled in by patients if they are properly motivated and will provide useful information. We have found that when patients come for further consultations, much useful information is readily available from these cards to any doctor. We think that this data helps to establish the basis of a good doctor-patient relationship.
The trainees in the Watford area were concerned about the lack of family and social history contained in patients' records which may have been known by the partners, but was often not committed to paper and, if in the notes, was usually not easily found.
As a pilot study we decided to design a card to overcome some of these problems, and to test the acceptability and benefit of this method on newly registered patients. The project was also planned as a learning situation for trainees.