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J Palliat Care. 2018 Jul;33(3):182-186. doi: 10.1177/0825859718766947. Epub 2018 Apr 2.

Availability of Dutch General Practitioners for After-Hours Palliative Care.

Author information

1
1 Scientific Center for Quality of Healthcare (IQ Healthcare), Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
2
2 IMPULS, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
3
3 NIVEL, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Continuity of care is important for palliative patients in their end of life. In the Netherlands, after-hours primary care for palliative patients is either provided by large-scale general practitioner (GP) cooperatives or GPs choose to give palliative care by themselves while they are not on duty.

AIM:

To examine the availability of, perceived problems by, and attitude of Dutch GPs regarding providing palliative care for their own patients outside office hours.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Cross-sectional observational study among 1772 GPs from 10 Dutch regions.

METHOD:

Online questionnaire among GPs affiliated with 10 GP cooperatives.

RESULTS:

Five hundred twenty-four (29.6%) eligible questionnaires were returned. Of the GPs, 60.8% were personally available outside office hours for their own palliative patients on their own private cell phone and performed home visits if needed. In 33.0%, GPs were willing to make home visits in private time instigated by the GP cooperative and 26.8% were only accessible for telephone consultation by the GP cooperative. In 12.2%, the GP delegated after-hours palliative care completely to the GP cooperative. The GPs predominantly reported "time pressure" problems (17.3%) as a barrier and 61.7% stated that after-hours palliative care is the responsibility of the own GP.

CONCLUSION:

The large majority of Dutch GPs is personally available for telephone consultation and/or willing to provide palliative care for their own patients outside office hours. For the future, it is important to maintain the willingness of GPs to remain personally available for their palliative patients.

KEYWORDS:

accessibility; after-hours care; availability; general practitioner; palliative care; quality

PMID:
29607714
DOI:
10.1177/0825859718766947
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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