BACKGROUND Around 1 million primary care consultations happen in England every day. Despite this, much of what happens in these visits remains a 'black box'. AIM To create an archive of videotaped consultations and linked data based on a large sample of routine face-to-face doctor-patient consultations with consent for use in future research and training. DESIGN AND SETTING Cross-sectional study in 12 general practices in the west of England, UK. METHOD Up to two GPs from each practice took part in the study. Over 1 to 2 days, consecutive patients were approached until up to 20 eligible patients for each GP consented to be videotaped. Eligible patients were aged ≥18 years, consulting on their own behalf, fluent in English, and with capacity to consent. GP questionnaires were self-administered. Patient questionnaires were self-administered immediately pre-consultation and post-consultation, and GPs filled in a checklist after each recording. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to patients after 10 days, and data about subsequent related consultations were collected from medical records 3 months later. RESULTS Of the 485 patients approached, 421 (86.8%) were eligible. Of the eligible patients, 334 (79.3%) consented to participate and 327 consultations with 23 GPs were successfully taped (307 video, 20 audio-only). Most patients (n= 300, 89.8%) consented to use by other researchers, subject to specific ethical approval. CONCLUSION Most patients were willing to allow their consultations to be videotaped, and, with very few exceptions, to allow recordings and linked data to be stored in a data repository for future use for research and training.
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