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BMC Fam Pract. 2017 Sep 13;18(1):87. doi: 10.1186/s12875-017-0658-5.

Correlation between patients' reasons for encounters/health problems and population density in Japan: a systematic review of observational studies coded by the International Classification of Health Problems in Primary Care (ICHPPC) and the International Classification of Primary care (ICPC).

Author information

1
Musashikoganei Clinic, Japanese Health and Welfare Co-operative Federation, 1-15-9, Honcho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo, 184-0004, Japan. makotokaneko0314@gmail.com.
2
Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8, Nishishimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-8461, Japan. makotokaneko0314@gmail.com.
3
Unnan City Hospital, Faculty of Community Care, 96-1, Iida, Daito-cho, Unnan city, Shimane, 699-1221, Japan.
4
Musashi Kokubunji Park clinic, 2-16-34-127, Nishimoto-machi, Kokubunji-shi, Tokyo, 185-0023, Japan.
5
Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8, Nishishimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-8461, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Japanese health care system has yet to establish structured training for primary care physicians; therefore, physicians who received an internal medicine based training program continue to play a principal role in the primary care setting. To promote the development of a more efficient primary health care system, the assessment of its current status in regard to the spectrum of patients' reasons for encounters (RFEs) and health problems is an important step. Recognizing the proportions of patients' RFEs and health problems, which are not generally covered by an internist, can provide valuable information to promote the development of a primary care physician-centered system.

METHODS:

We conducted a systematic review in which we searched six databases (PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, Ichushi-Web, JDreamIII and CiNii) for observational studies in Japan coded by International Classification of Health Problems in Primary Care (ICHPPC) and International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC) up to March 2015. We employed population density as index of accessibility. We calculated Spearman's rank correlation coefficient to examine the correlation between the proportion of "non-internal medicine-related" RFEs and health problems in each study area in consideration of the population density.

RESULTS:

We found 17 studies with diverse designs and settings. Among these studies, "non-internal medicine-related" RFEs, which was not thought to be covered by internists, ranged from about 4% to 40%. In addition, "non-internal medicine-related" health problems ranged from about 10% to 40%. However, no significant correlation was found between population density and the proportion of "non-internal medicine-related" RFEs and health problems.

CONCLUSIONS:

This is the first systematic review on RFEs and health problems coded by ICHPPC and ICPC undertaken to reveal the diversity of health problems in Japanese primary care. These results suggest that primary care physicians in some rural areas of Japan need to be able to deal with "non-internal-medicine-related" RFEs and health problems, and that curriculum including practical non-internal medicine-related training is likely to be important.

KEYWORDS:

International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC); Primary care; Reasons for encounters (RFEs)

PMID:
28903746
PMCID:
PMC5598053
DOI:
10.1186/s12875-017-0658-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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