Computerised phone call can help GP patients

AN AUTOMATED pre-screening phone call appears an effective means of surfacing unhealthy habits and mental health issues prior to a GP visit, US researchers report.

In a new study, they arranged more than 8000 patients who had an upcoming appointment to be phoned by a computer and asked six simple pre-screening questions.

Depending on their responses, the so-called Interactive Voice Response system read them a brief reminder to discuss certain things with their doctor during their visit.

One question, for example, asked participants how