Introduction: In EuroPEP patients evaluate their GP. A questionnaire with a few free-text answered questions is used. Aim: To analyse patients' written statements to two free-text answered questions: what do you appreciate with your GP and what could be improved?. Patients' statements were analysed and mailed to their GP whose reaction was investigated. Methods: 52 GPs participated, and 3077, or 75% of their participating patients wrote comments. These were subjected to a thematical content analysis, and results mailed to the GP, who answered a questionnaire on the experience of reading the patients' comments. Results: Patients wrote very precise comments. Patients value a GP who has time to listen, makes the patient feel central and makes the patient experience continuity in their relationship. The patients question neither the GP's professional skills nor their possible breach of professional secrecy. If the GP on the other hand, acts incompetently, the patient looses all confidence in him/her. Further, they write on accessibility to the practice, timekeeping and interior decoration and personnel. Analysing the comments of each GP was easy and provided a coherent picture of the patients' experiences and wishes. When the GPs received the comments from their patients they found them highly informative, concrete and inspiring. Several GPs made changes in order to accommodate patients' comments. They found them easy to understand. Conclusion: Patients' written comments pinpoint how they experience their GP and the GP's practice, and their values. GP's find the statements clear and directive for action. Words communicate more than numbers.
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13th World Organization of Family Doctors Europe Conference, 2007