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BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Nov 28;17(1):783. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2749-3.

Reasons for encounters and psychiatric comorbidity in an urban Bavarian primary care out-of-hour service - results of a cross sectional study.

Author information

1
Institute of General Practice, University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Orleansstr. 47, 81667, Munich, Germany. constanze.storr@tum.de.
2
Institute of General Practice, University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Orleansstr. 47, 81667, Munich, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

International studies have shown a contribution of psychiatric comorbidity to high utilization rates in out-of-hour primary care (OOHC). Up to now, the impact of psychiatric comorbidity in German OOHC remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to investigate reasons for encounter (RFE), possible psychiatric comorbidity, utilization rates, and a possible association between utilization rate and psychiatric comorbidity among patients of an urban OOHC unit.

METHODS:

In a cross-sectional, prospective, naturalistic study five hundred self-referred patients completed a self-designed questionnaire addressing RFE, past office visits and personal information. Additionally, we employed three validated questionnaires (PHQ-9, PHQ-15 and GAD-7) to screen for mental disorders. We collected information about past visits through computerized patients' charts. Diagnoses were classified according to the International Classification of Primary Care-2.

RESULTS:

The most frequent RFE were musculoskeletal complaints (36%), followed by respiratory diseases (13%), gastrointestinal problems (10%), skin conditions (8%) and urologic ailments (6%). Of the included patients 58% were working fulltime and 61% had greater than or equal to 10 years of education. The mean age was 37.3 in females and 40.5 years in males. Prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity was 27%. Only 3% visited the office more than twice over a 12 months period. We could not find an association between high utilization and psychiatric comorbidity.

CONCLUSION:

In this study, musculoskeletal complaints were the most frequent RFE. Patients were predominantly young, employed and educated. The prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity was similar to the prevalence in common general practitioner offices and showed no significant relation to frequent attendance. This information might help to prepare physicians better for patient care in OOHC.

KEYWORDS:

General practitioner office; Out-of-hour primary care; Psychiatric comorbidity; Reason for encounter; Sociodemographic variables; Utilization rate

PMID:
29183310
PMCID:
PMC5704587
DOI:
10.1186/s12913-017-2749-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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