Deciding whether to consult the GP or an emergency department: A qualitative study of patient reasoning in Switzerland.

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_2D6B7D5B6DAC
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Deciding whether to consult the GP or an emergency department: A qualitative study of patient reasoning in Switzerland.
Journal
The European journal of general practice
Author(s)
Henninger S., Spencer B., Pasche O.
ISSN
1751-1402 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1381-4788
Publication state
Published
Issued date
07/2019
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
25
Number
3
Pages
136-142
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
Background: Non-urgent care is an important factor responsible for rising healthcare costs and general practitioners (GPs) are known to be more cost-effective than emergency departments (EDs). Objectives: To understand the reasons why patients confronted with a medical problem perceived as urgent choose to consult either a GP or an ED. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study in Switzerland, using data collected between 2014 and 2015 through semi-structured interviews of adults with non-vital medical problems. Half were recruited after an ambulatory consultation in an ED, and half were patients who consulted their GP. The audio-recorded interviews were transcribed, coded, and analysed according to the constant comparative method. Results: The main reason given by patients who consulted their GP first was the quality of the relationship. The more meaningful the relationship, the more likely patients were to seek advice from their GP. One marker of a privileged relationship was GPs supplying their mobile phone number to the patient. The perceived nature of the complaint, for example, symptoms considered as life-threatening or severe pain, together with the expected waiting time in an ED were additional factors influencing the patients' choice. Conclusion: Our study showed that when patients are confronted with what they perceive as a medical emergency, the quality of the relationship with the GP, in particular the continuity of care provided, seem to be the major reasons why they consult their GP rather than an ED.
Keywords
Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Decision Making, Emergencies/epidemiology, Emergencies/psychology, Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data, Female, General Practice/statistics & numerical data, General Practitioners/statistics & numerical data, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Male, Middle Aged, Physician-Patient Relations, Switzerland, Time Factors, Young Adult, Family practice, emergencies, mobile phone number, physician–patient relationship, qualitative research
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
12/07/2019 14:57
Last modification date
07/02/2020 6:19
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