Reconsultation for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) is common in general practice, but those who reconsult rarely have more significant illness warranting antibiotics. Knowledge of factors that predict patient-initiated reconsultation may allow clinicians to address specific issues during the initial consultation that could reduce reconsultations. Thirty-three per cent of a cohort of 431 LRTI patients in a randomised controlled trial reconsulted. Excluding 35 patients with GP-requested reconsultation left 28% (112/396) with a patient-initiated reconsultation during 28-day follow-up. Patient-reported dyspnoea and concerns that persisted after the initial consultation independently predicted patient-initiated reconsultation.
Keywords: communication, family practice, respiratory tract infections