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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1991 Sep 30;111(23):2867-70.

[Why do people contact physicians? The development of the core classification of primary health care].

[Article in Norwegian]

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  • 1Institutt for samfunnsmedisinske fag Universitetet i Trondheim.


The Norwegian study on reasons for contacting physicians comprised part of a large international project. The aim of this project was to develop an international classification of the different reasons why patients contact the health services. In 1978 the World Health Organization appointed an expert working party and outlined the principles for the new classification, based mainly on other WHO classifications. A trial version of the classification was tested by general practitioners in nine countries. The Norwegian study involved 11 general practionners. It comprised 8,337 consecutive encounters and 11,865 reasons for these encounters. 65% of the reason were symptoms or observational diagnosis, 13% were specific diagnoses. 16% of the reasons were preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. 6% contacted the physician for administrative reasons. The International Classification of Primary Care is simple, logical and easy to use. It is based on extensive research carried out in general practice. It represents the bio-psycho-social "whole person" concept of primary care. ICPC includes WHO-approved cross-codes for the International Classification of Diseases, ICD.

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