‘Where do I place my chair?’: Considerations of chair placement in consultation observation

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Background and objective In workplace-based training and assessment of registrars and supervised doctors, the influence of contextual factors such as consultation room layout, including placement of chairs, may be overlooked. The aim was to identify the room's seating arrangements in consultation observation between the assessor, the assessed and the patient. Methods Qualitative research was undertaken to explore the perceptions of consultation observation as a tool in workplace-based training and assessment through semi.structured one-on-one interviews. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data; secondary data analysis highlighted the use of metaphors to describe seating arrangements. Results Chair placement tended to be discussed by participants in terms of triangles. equilateral, isosceles and scalene. Other metaphors included curved lines, compasses or clock faces. Notions of agency in seating positions and constraints by room layout were also identified. Discussion There is a tension between the physical layout and structure of the consultation room, seating preferences of the observer and the agency of registrar as the observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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