Document Detail

Frequent attenders' consulting patterns with general practitioners.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11224969     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Despite the growing literature on frequent attendance, little is known about the consulting patterns of frequent attenders with different doctors. To develop appropriate intervention strategies and to improve the clinical care of frequent attenders, a full understanding of these consulting patterns is essential. AIMS: This paper has three aims: to determine whether frequent attenders consult more with some doctors than others; to determine how many different doctors frequent attenders consult with; and to determine whether frequent attenders exhibit greater continuity of care than non-frequent attenders. METHOD: Analysis of a validated dataset of 592,028 consultations made by 61,055 patients from four practices over 41 months. Comparisons between the consulting patterns of the frequent attenders, defined as the most frequently consulting 3% of the population by practice, with non-frequent attenders and the overall practice populations. RESULTS: There was considerable variation in the numbers and proportions of consultations with frequent attenders between individual doctors. Most of the frequent attenders consulted with most or all of the doctors within practices over the timeframe. Frequent attenders exhibited more continuity of care than non-frequent attenders. CONCLUSION: The reasons why some doctors have more consultations with frequent attenders is unclear. Some doctors may actively encourage frequent attendance. While many frequent attenders have clear allegiances to one doctor, many also consult widely with a large number of doctors. The consequences of such behaviour are unknown. These findings have important implications in the development of appropriate interventions for reducing problematic frequent attendance.
R D Neal; P L Heywood; S Morley
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners     Volume:  50     ISSN:  0960-1643     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Gen Pract     Publication Date:  2000 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-27     Completed Date:  2001-03-22     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9005323     Medline TA:  Br J Gen Pract     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  972-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for Research in Primary Care, Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds.
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MeSH Terms
Continuity of Patient Care
Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
Health Services Misuse / statistics & numerical data*
Longitudinal Studies
Middle Aged
Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
Physician-Patient Relations

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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