Publication
Title
Out of hours care : a profile analysis of patients attending the emergency department and the general practitioner on call
Author
Abstract
Background Overuse of emergency departments (ED) is of concern in Western society and it is often referred to as 'inappropriate' use. This phenomenon may compromise efficient use of health care personnel, infrastructure and financial resources of the ED. To redirect patients, an extensive knowledge of the experiences and attitudes of patients and their choice behaviour is necessary. The aim of this study is to quantify the patients and socio-economical determinants for choosing the general practitioner (GP) on call or the ED. Methods Data collection was conducted simultaneously in 4 large cities in Belgium. All patients who visited EDs or used the services of the GP on call during two weekends in January 2005 were enrolled in the study in a prospective manner. We used semi-structured questionnaires to interview patients from both services. Results 1611 patient contacts were suitable for further analysis. 640 patients visited the GP and 971 went to the ED. Determinants that associated with the choice of the ED are: being male, having visited the ED during the past 12 months at least once, speaking another language than Dutch or French, being of African (sub-Saharan as well as North African) nationality and no medical insurance. We also found that young men are more likely to seek help at the ED for minor trauma, compared to women. Conclusions Patients tend to seek help at the service they are acquainted with. Two populations that distinctively seek help at the ED for minor medical problems are people of foreign origin and men suffering minor trauma. Aiming at a redirection of patients, special attention should go to these patients. Informing them about the health services' specific tasks and the needlessness of technical examinations for minor trauma, might be a useful intervention.
Language
English
Source (journal)
BMC family practice. - London
Publication
London : 2010
ISSN
1471-2296
Volume/pages
11(2010), p. 88,1-88,8
Article Reference
88
ISI
000285100600001
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.03.2011
Last edited 20.09.2017
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