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Table 1 Scores on performance objectives for GPs (1st column) and operationalisation to measure the performance (2nd column)

From: The effect of watchful waiting compared to immediate test ordering instructions on general practitioners' blood test ordering behaviour for patients with unexplained complaints; a randomized clinical trial (ISRCTN55755886)

Performance objective Operationalisation of performance objective Answering categories Group one (immediate test ordering)
n = 229 patients
Group two (watchful waiting)
n = 95 patients
Group three (watchful waiting + quality improvement strategy)
n = 174 patients
  Patients for whom tests were ordered n (%)   210 (91.7) 13 (13.7) 27 (15.5)
Ordering fewer tests at the same time Mean number of tests ordered (SD)   7 (3.7) 7 (2.1) 6 (2.6)
Performing adequate history taking and physical examination GP performed physical examination % (n) Sufficient
Not sufficient
124 (56.9)
94 (43.1)
57 (63.3)
33 (36.7)
99 (62.7)
59 (37.3)
Explaining findings to the patient Patient understood GP's explanation of the complaints n (%) At least sufficient
Insufficient/unknown
184 (84.4)
34 (15.6)
79 (90.8)
8 (9.2)
139 (88.5)
18 (11.5)
Explaining that findings are currently not explained by specific diseases Patient understood seriousness of complaints after the consultation n (%) Yes
No
55 (25.5)
161 (74.5)
34 (37.8)
56 (62.2)
57 (36.5)
99 (63.5)
Discussing four-week watchful waiting approach with patient GP discussed the possibilities of additional tests with the patient n (%) Sufficient
Insufficient/unknown
153 (70.2)
65 (29.8)
54 (60.7)
35 (39.3)
81 (51.3)
77 (48.7)
Asking the patient to return if the complaints do not resolve in a month GP asked the patient to return if the complaints did not disappear n (%) Yes
No/unknown
145 (67.4)
70 (32.6)
80 (88.9)
10 (11.1)
131 (82.9)
27 (17.1)