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Int J Circumpolar Health. 2012 Jul 24;71:18431. doi: 10.3402/ijch.v71i0.18431.

Frequent use of primary health care service in Greenland: an opportunity for undiagnosed disease case-finding.

Author information

1
Queen Ingrid Health Care Centre, Nuuk, Greenland. MILP@peqqik.gl

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the age- and gender-specific consultation rates of patients who availed primary health care service in Greenland and to analyse contact patterns among patients in Nuuk.

DESIGN:

Observational and cross-sectional register study using data captured from the medical records.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The number of patients specified by age and gender who had contacted the primary health care centres within the last year was identified using a statistic module applied to the electronic medical records system. The population as it was on the 1st of January 2011 was used as the background population. The age- and gender-specific consultation rates were calculated. Review of most recent contact was performed in a subsample of patients from Nuuk, and information of the type of contact and diagnoses was obtained.

RESULTS:

Eighty-three percent of the population in Greenland had been in contact with the primary health care centre within the last year. Females were more frequent users than males. A subsample of 400 patients in Nuuk was identified. Personal contact was the most frequent type of consultation (75.8%), followed by telephone (14.8%) and e-mail (9.8%) consultations. Musculoskeletal symptoms accounted for the most frequent bases for diagnoses.

CONCLUSION:

More than 80% of the whole population has been in contact with the primary health care system within the last year. This indicates that opportunistic case-finding of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. providing a possible strategy for decreasing the number of undiagnosed cases.

PMID:
22868190
PMCID:
PMC3417523
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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