The relationship between census-derived socio-economic variables and general practice consultation rates in three town centre practices.
BACKGROUND: The relationship between socio-economic factors and consultation rates is important in determining resource allocation to general practices. AIM: To determine the relationship between general practice surgery consultation rates and census-derived socio-economic variables for patients receiving the same primary and secondary care. METHOD: A retrospective analysis was taken of computerized records in three general practices in Mansfield, North Nottinghamshire, with 29,142 patients spread over 15 electoral wards (Jarman score range from -23 to +25.5). Linear regression analysis of surgery consultation rates at ward and enumeration district levels was performed against Jarman and Townsend deprivation scores and census socio-economic variables. RESULTS: Both the Townsend score (r2 = 59%) and the Jarman score (r2 = 39%) were associated with surgery consultation rates at ward level. The Townsend score had a stronger association than the Jarman score because all four of its component variables were individually associated with increased consultations compared with four out of eight Jarman components. CONCLUSIONS: Even in practices not eligible for deprivation payments there were appreciable differences in consultation rates between areas with different socio-economic characteristics. The results suggest that the variables used to determine deprivation payments should be reconsidered, and they support suggestions that payments should be introduced at a lower level of deprivation and administered on an enumeration district basis. (+info)
General practitioners' knowledge and experience of the abuse of older people in the community: report of an exploratory research study in the inner-London borough of Tower Hamlets.
A pioneering study aimed to quantify general practitioners' (GPs') knowledge of cases of elder abuse in the community. The research found that elder abuse is a problem encountered by GPs, and that a large majority of responders would welcome training in the identification and management of the problem. (+info)
Community-level HIV intervention in 5 cities: final outcome data from the CDC AIDS Community Demonstration Projects.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated a theory-based community-level intervention to promote progress toward consistent condom and bleach use among selected populations at increased risk for HIV infection in 5 US cities. METHODS: Role-model stories were distributed, along with condoms and bleach, by community members who encouraged behavior change among injection drug users, their female sex partners, sex workers, non-gay-identified men who have sex with men, high-risk youth, and residents in areas with high sexually transmitted disease rates. Over a 3-year period, cross-sectional interviews (n = 15,205) were conducted in 10 intervention and comparison community pairs. Outcomes were measured on a stage-of-change scale. Observed condom carrying and intervention exposure were also measured. RESULTS: At the community level, movement toward consistent condom use with main (P < .05) and nonmain (P < .05) partners, as well as increased condom carrying (P < .0001), was greater in intervention than in comparison communities. At the individual level, respondents recently exposed to the intervention were more likely to carry condoms and to have higher stage-of-change scores for condom and bleach use. CONCLUSIONS: The intervention led to significant communitywide progress toward consistent HIV risk reduction. (+info)
House calls in Lebanon: reflections on personal experience.
BACKGROUND: Home health services play an important role in decreasing hospital admissions and physicians' medical house calls play an integral role in home health services. There is no national survey of physicians' house call practice in the Lebanon. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to provide some information about house call practice in the Lebanon. METHOD: Data on patients examined during house call visits between 1 January and the end of December 1995 were reviewed. RESULTS: During this period, 137 patients were seen at their home. Eighty-four patients (62%) were female and 53 patients (38%) were male. Ages ranged from 1 to 85 years. The number of cases seen in 1 month averaged 11. The diagnosis differed according to the age group of patients examined. Most of the house call visits occurred between 6.30 p.m. to 12.00 p.m. (47%). Fifteen patients (11%) were admitted to the hospital. CONCLUSION: The rate of cases per month was similar to those reported elsewhere. Physicians might feel reluctant to conduct house calls out of hours. Our study revealed that the majority of patients were seen between 6 p.m. and 12 p.m., and only 6% were seen after 12 a.m. It is our belief that house calls are an integral part of family practice and need to be stressed during the internships of all primary care physicians. (+info)
Partner notification for gonorrhoea: a comparative study with a provincial and a metropolitan UK clinic.
OBJECTIVE: To compare partner notification practice and outcomes at a provincial and a metropolitan clinic. DESIGN: Prospective study, following standardisation of partner notification policy. SETTINGS: Sheffield Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Jefferiss Wing Centre for Sexual Health, St Mary's Hospital, London. SUBJECTS: Consecutive patients with culture positive gonorrhoea between October 1994 and March 1996 who were interviewed by a health adviser. RESULTS: In Sheffield, 235 cases reported 659 outstanding contacts, of whom 129 (20%) were subsequently screened, and 65 (50%) had gonorrhoea. At St Mary's 510 cases reported 2176 outstanding contacts, of whom 98 (5%) were known to have been screened, and 53 (54%) had gonorrhoea. Patient or provider referral agreements appeared more productive in Sheffield, where 60% resulted in contact attendance, compared with 13% at St Mary's. Provider referral was used more frequently in Sheffield, for 44% of referrals, compared with 1% at St Mary's. Multivariate analysis showed that partner notification was less effective for casual and short term (< 7 days) partnerships in both centres, and for homosexual men at St Mary's. CONCLUSION: Partner notification outcomes were better in the provincial setting where contact attendance could be recorded more reliably and provider referral was used more extensively. The high proportion of contacts who remained untraced in both settings indicates the need for complementary screening and prevention initiatives. (+info)
Sources and implications of dissatisfaction among new GPs in the inner-city.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the factors that were most stressful for new principals in inner-city general practice. In addition, given the concerns about retention of new principals, to ascertain whether high perceived stress translated into regret that they had joined their practice and factors that might protect from regret. METHODS: A questionnaire survey, within an inner-city Health Authority. The subjects were 101 GPs appointed as principals between 1992 and 1995. RESULTS: Eighty-three out of 101 GPs replied. The greatest sources of stress were, in order, patient expectations, fear of complaint, out-of-hours stress and fear of violence. Although these stresses were scored highly, 61% expressed no regret at having joined their practice with just 4% reporting considerable regret. Stress within the partnership and stress arising from patient expectations accounted for 23% of the variation in regret. Holders of the MRCGP were significantly protected against regret; there was no evidence that other factors such as medical positions outside the practice, membership of a young principals support group, fundholding status or training practices offered significant protection against regret. CONCLUSION: Despite reported difficulties in recruiting new young principals to the inner-city-and despite their reported high levels of stress-few have regrets about their decision to join their practice. For those who did regret joining their practice, the three principal associations were partnership stress, patient expectations and not possessing the MRCGP. Each of these factors may be amenable to intervention by policies geared to improve GP retention. (+info)
Responding to out-of-hours demand: the extent and nature of urgent need.
BACKGROUND: Little research has been undertaken concerning GPs' perceptions about urgent or 'appropriate' out-of-hours demand. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to measure GPs' perceptions about patients' need for urgent out-of-hours general medical help according to indicators of physical, psychological/emotional and social need, and the medical necessity of a home visit. METHODS: Twenty-five practices participated in an audit and research study whereby GPs completed an audit form for all contacts during November/December 1995 and February/March 1996. Each contact was assessed according to the indicators of urgent need and GPs commented on reasons for making such assessments. RESULTS: Audit forms were completed on 1862 patients, and GPs considered that 66.6% (1027) of contacts had either a physically, psychologically/emotionally or socially urgent need for help and were uncertain about a further 10.7% (165). Over half (53.0%) were considered to have an urgent physical need, almost one-third (31.0%) to have an urgent psychological/emotional need and 10.1% (119) to have an urgent social need for help. Over half (55.2%) of visits were considered to be medically necessary, the majority of which (89.9%) were assessed as having an urgent physical need for help. CONCLUSIONS: The findings raise questions about the strategic direction of newer forms of service delivery (GP Co-operatives) and suggest the need for further research to inform the strategic reduction in home visiting, particularly in inner-city areas where many residents have little access to transport out-of-hours to enable them to attend a primary care centre. GP co-operatives are, however, well placed to improve interagency working and cross-referral to other health and social service personnel, and respond more 'appropriately' to some psychological/emotional and social problems. (+info)
Pathways to care for alcohol use disorders.
BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to examine access to care for people with alcohol use disorders. METHOD: An alcohol screening questionnaire was completed by 444 respondents in a community survey. During a designated week, 1009 patients presenting in primary care were assessed by their doctor and 773 of these completed the same questionnaire. Over a six month period 223 people with alcohol use disorders were identified using specialist addiction and psychiatric services, of whom 58 were admitted to hospital. One month prevalence rates of alcohol morbidity were determined for people aged between 16 and 64 years at all five levels in the pathways to care model. RESULTS: Around half the people with alcohol morbidity in the community never consulted their general practitioner and of those who did only half had their problem identified. Case recognition was particularly poor for women, young people and Asians. The main filter to people accessing specialist services came at the point of referral from primary care. This was especially marked for young people and for ethnic minorities. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies are required to improve the identification and treatment of alcohol morbidity in primary care. Deficits in access to specialist services for women, young people and ethnic minorities need to be addressed. (+info)