Pendleton defined seven tasks forming the aims of each consultation. These identify what the doctor needs to achieve and deal with the use of time and resources:
1. To define the reason for the patient’s attendance, including:
a) the nature and history of the problems
b) their aetiology
c) the patient’s ideas concerns and expectations
d) the effects of the problems
2. To consider other problems:
a) continuing problems
b) at-risk factors
3. With the patient, to choose an appropriate action for each problem.
4. To achieve a shared understanding of the problems with the patient.
5. To involve the patien patient in the management and encourage him/her to accept appropriate responsibility.
6. To use time and resources appropriately
1) in the consultation
2) in the long term
7. To establish or maintain a relationship with the patient which helps to achieve the other tasks.
These tasks might be paraphrased as: understand the problem, understand the patient, share the understanding, share decisions and responsibilities and maintain the relationship.
- D Pendleton et al, The Consultation: an Approach to Learning and Teaching, 1984