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Scand J Prim Health Care. 1995 Mar;13(1):32-8.

Are frequent attenders of primary health care distressed?

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To measure the level of distress among frequent attenders of primary health care.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Two public primary health care stations in Turku, south-western Finland

PARTICIPANTS:

96 frequent attenders (eleven or more visits to a physician during the previous 12 months) and 466 control patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

SCL-25, GP evaluations, self-reported symptoms and self-experienced need for care.

RESULTS:

Frequent attenders were significantly more distressed than other patients in primary care. However, their self-experienced need for psychiatric care was very low and it did not differ from other patients self-experienced need. The GPs estimated that over 1/3 of frequent attenders suffered from mixed (physical and psychiatric) illnesses and over 1/2 from subclinical or clinical psychiatric symptoms. The corresponding proportions for other patients were significantly lower.

PMID:
7777733
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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