Table 1 Selection process for dividing practitioners into two groups based upon the quality of their referral letter

From: Facilitators and barriers to improving the quality of referrals for potential oral cancer

Stage 1
Criteria met if all of the following aspects were present in the letter:
The date of referral
The referring GDPs name
The referring GDPs address
The referring GDPs telephone number
The patient's name
The patient's address
They were legible (eg printed)
The reason for referral
Stage 2
Criteria met if letter scores at least 5 points:
Patient's date of birth (1 point)
Patient's phone number (1 point)
Basic description of the lesion eg colour and site and whether ulcerated (2 points)
Detailed description of lesion eg above plus whether speckled, thickness, texture, rolled margin (5 points)
Patient risk factors eg tobacco, alcohol, viral or sexually transmitted disease (2 points)
Detail of any management to date eg mouthwash, drugs, biopsy, denture or tooth adjustment (1 point)