Nurses and nursing in primary medical care in England.
In 1974 we sent questionnaires on attachment and employment of nurses to 9214 general practices in England. There were 7863 replies (85%), of which 551 were excluded from the study. A total of 2654 nurses were directly employed by 24% (1774) of the practices, and 68% (4972) had attached nurses. Practices in health centres were larger and had greater nursing resources than those in other premises. We suggest that practices may employ nurses to compensate for ineffective nursing attachments, and we conclude that general-practice-employed nurses are becoming "professionalised". (+info)
Clinical experience and choice of drug therapy for human immunodeficiency virus disease.
To determine if providers experienced in the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease preferred different treatment regimens than providers with less experience, we analyzed data from a national survey of primary care providers' preferred regimens for the management of 30 HIV-related medical conditions. We mailed questionnaires to 999 correct addresses of providers in > 20 cities in the United States in May 1996. We received 524 responses (response rate, 52%). We found a statistically significant association between the number of HIV-infected patients cared for by the provider and the likelihood that the provider would report prescribing highly active antiretroviral therapy and multidrug combinations for treatment of opportunistic infections. Providers with few HIV-infected patients were substantially less likely to report using new therapeutic regimens or new diagnostic tools. We concluded that the preferred regimens of experienced providers are more likely to be consistent with the latest information on treatment for HIV disease than are those of less experienced providers. (+info)
The effect of race and sex on physicians' recommendations for cardiac catheterization.
BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies have reported differences in the use of cardiovascular procedures according to the race and sex of the patient. Whether the differences stem from differences in the recommendations of physicians remains uncertain. METHODS: We developed a computerized survey instrument to assess physicians' recommendations for managing chest pain. Actors portrayed patients with particular characteristics in scripted interviews about their symptoms. A total of 720 physicians at two national meetings of organizations of primary care physicians participated in the survey. Each physician viewed a recorded interview and was given other data about a hypothetical patient. He or she then made recommendations about that patient's care. We used multivariate logistic-regression analysis to assess the effects of the race and sex of the patients on treatment recommendations, while controlling for the physicians' assessment of the probability of coronary artery disease as well as for the age of the patient, the level of coronary risk, the type of chest pain, and the results of an exercise stress test. RESULTS: The physicians' mean (+/-SD) estimates of the probability of coronary artery disease were lower for women (probability, 64.1+/-19.3 percent, vs. 69.2+/-18.2 percent for men; P<0.001), younger patients (63.8+/-19.5 percent for patients who were 55 years old, vs. 69.5+/-17.9 percent for patients who were 70 years old; P<0.001), and patients with nonanginal pain (58.3+/-19.0 percent, vs. 64.4+/-18.3 percent for patients with possible angina and 77.1+/-14.0 percent for those with definite angina; P=0.001). Logistic-regression analysis indicated that women (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) and blacks (odds ratio, 0.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.4 to 0.9; P=0.02) were less likely to be referred for cardiac catheterization than men and whites, respectively. Analysis of race-sex interactions showed that black women were significantly less likely to be referred for catheterization than white men (odds ratio, 0.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.7; P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the race and sex of a patient independently influence how physicians manage chest pain. (+info)
Record linkage as a research tool for office-based medical care.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the feasibility of linking records to study health services and health outcomes for primary care patients. DESIGN: A cohort of patients from the Family Medicine Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital was assembled from the clinic's billing records. Their health numbers were linked to the Ontario Hospital Discharge Database. The pattern of hospital admission rates was investigated using International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes for primary discharge diagnosis. A pilot case-control study of risk factor management for stroke was nested in the cohort. SETTING: Family medicine clinic based in a teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: A cohort of 19,654 Family Medicine Centre patients seen at least once since 1991. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Admission rates by age, sex, and diagnosis. Numbers of admissions for individual patients, time to readmission, and length of stay. Odds ratios for admission for cerebrovascular disease. RESULTS: The 19,654 patients in the cohort had 14,299 discharges from Ontario hospitals in the 4 years from 1992 to 1995, including 3832 discharges following childbirth. Some patients had many discharges: 4816 people accounted for the 10,467 admissions excluding childbirth. Excluding transfers between institutions, there were 4975 readmissions to hospital during the 4 years, 1392 (28%) of them within 28 days of previous discharge. Admissions for mental disorders accounted for the greatest number of days in hospital. The pilot study of risk factor management suggested that acetylsalicylic acid therapy might not be effective for elderly primary care patients with atrial fibrillation and that calcium channel blocker therapy might be less effective than other therapies for preventing cerebrovascular disease in hypertensive primary care patients. CONCLUSIONS: Record linkage combined with data collection by chart review or interview is a useful method for studying the effectiveness of medical care in Canada and might suggest interesting hypotheses for further investigation. (+info)
Explicit guidelines for qualitative research: a step in the right direction, a defence of the 'soft' option, or a form of sociological imperialism?
Within the context of health service research, qualitative research has sometimes been seen as a 'soft' approach, lacking scientific rigour. In order to promote the legitimacy of using qualitative methodology in this field, numerous social scientists have produced checklists, guidelines or manuals for researchers to follow when conducting and writing up qualitative work. However, those working in the health service should be aware that social scientists are not all in agreement about the way in which qualitative work should be conducted, and they should not be discouraged from conducting qualitative research simply because they do not possess certain technical skills or extensive training in sociology, anthropology or psychology. The proliferation of guidelines and checklists may be off-putting to people who want to undertake this sort of research, and they may also make it even more difficult for researchers to publish work in medical journals. Consequently, the very people who may be in a position to change medical practice may never read the results of important qualitative research. (+info)
Restructuring the primary health care services and changing profile of family physicians in Turkey.
A new health-reform process has been initiated by Ministry of Health in Turkey. The aim of that reform is to improve the health status of the Turkish population and to provide health care to all citizens in an efficient and equitable manner. The restructuring of the current health system will allow more funds to be allocated to primary and preventive care and will create a managed market for secondary and tertiary care. In this article, we review the current and proposed primary care services models and the role of family physicians therein. (+info)
Physician management in primary care.
Minimal explicit consensus criteria in the management of patients with four indicator conditions were established by an ad hoc committee of primary care physicians practicing in different locations. These criteria were then applied to the practices of primary care physicians located in a single community by abstracting medical records and obtaining questionnaire data about patients with the indicator conditions. A standardized management score for each physician was used as the dependent variable in stepwise regression analysis with physician/practice and patient/disease characteristics as the candidate independent variables. For all physicians combined, the mean management scores were high, ranging from .78 to .93 for the four conditions. For two of the conditions, care of the normal infant and pregnant woman, the management scores were better for pediatricians and obstetricians respectively than for family physicians. For the other two conditions, adult onset diabetes and congestive heart failure, there were no differences between the management scores of family physicians and internists. Patient/disease characteristics did not contribute significantly to explaining the variation in the standardized management scores. (+info)
Provision of primary care by office-based rheumatologists: results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys, 1991-1995.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent to which office-based rheumatologists provide primary care to patients without rheumatic diseases or provide principal care to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey was used to determine national probability estimates of the nature and types of conditions treated by office-based rheumatologists in 1991-1995. At each of 1,074 patient visits, the rheumatologists recorded up to 3 diagnoses and 3 patient-reported reasons for the visit, as well as information on the treatments provided at the visit. RESULTS: In only 9.8% of new consultations and 11.9% of return visits was neither a rheumatic disease diagnosis nor a musculoskeletal complaint recorded, indicating that the rheumatologist was likely acting as a primary care provider at a minority of patient visits. Among continuing patients with RA, the patient's primary reason for the visit was something other than a musculoskeletal complaint in only 9.9% of visits, and any nonrheumatic complaint was recorded in 30.4% of visits, indicating that at only some visits was the rheumatologist acting as the principal caregiver. In addition, only 31.1% of visits included the provision of medication for a nonrheumatic condition. CONCLUSION: In 1991-1995, most visits to rheumatologists involved the provision of specialized or consultative care to patients with rheumatic diseases or musculoskeletal complaints, and few visits were made by patients without either indication. Provision of principal care by rheumatologists to patients with RA is not currently widespread. (+info)