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Consultations for injuries by frequent attenders are found to be medically appropriate from general practitioners' perspective.

Journal article
Authors Håkan Bergh
Amir Baigi
Bertil Marklund
Published in Scandinavian journal of public health
Volume 33
Issue 3
Pages 228-32
ISSN 1403-4948
Publication year 2005
Published at Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Primary Health Care
Pages 228-32
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/1403494051000576...
Keywords frequent attenders, injuries, medically appropriate consultations, primary healthcare
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences

Abstract

AIMS: A study was carried out to determine whether frequent attenders' (FAs') consultations for injuries are medically appropriate or not. METHODS: A retrospective review was undertaken of medical records in a primary healthcare centre. All injury consultations by frequent attenders and controls during a period of one year were evaluated by two general practitioners (GPs). Outcome variables were: number of injuries, chronic diseases, type of injuries, and their treatments. The GPs made a comprehensive picture of each case and evaluated whether it was medically appropriate to consult a doctor or not. RESULTS: Injuries were 7.2 times more common among frequent attenders compared with the controls. Frequent attenders had significantly more chronic diseases. Mean number of injury consultations was the same for frequent attenders with or without chronic disease. There was no difference concerning medically appropriate consultations between frequent attenders and controls. CONCLUSIONS: Consultations for injuries with frequent attenders were considered medically appropriate. Chronic diseases did not explain the higher injury incidence among frequent attenders. These findings are interesting and contradict the opinion that increased healthcare consumption by FAs is a waste of resources. Our findings may suggest that FAs are more vulnerable individuals.

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