Frequent attendance, socioeconomic status and burden of ill health: an investigation in the West of Scotland

Wyke, S. , Hunt, K., Walker, J. and Wilson, P. (2003) Frequent attendance, socioeconomic status and burden of ill health: an investigation in the West of Scotland. European Journal of General Practice, 9(2), pp. 48-55.

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Abstract

Objectives: To investigate whether associations between frequent attendance in general practice and socioeconomic circumstances remain significant after taking detailed account of underlying ill health, perceived social support and social isolation. Methods: Data from a community health survey of 1477 people in their late forties and late sixties living in the West of Scotland were examined for associations between frequent attendance, socioeconomic circumstances, self-reported ill health and social support using logistic regression. The main outcome measure was the probability of being a frequent attender (defined pragmatically after initial review of the distribution as 10+ visits a year) with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Frequent attendance was significantly associated with: greater numbers of serious conditions reported (adjusted odds ratio 1.47; 99% CI 1.091.98); higher levels of anxiety (adjusted OR 1.14; 1.04-1.25); and lower levels of self-assessed health (adjusted OR 0.67; 0.54-0.83). No measures of socioeconomic circumstance or social support remained significantly associated with frequent attendance when the greater burden of ill health in poorer and less wellsupported groups was considered. Conclusion: The higher levels of frequent attendance likely to be experienced by general practitioners serving populations in adverse social circumstances are likely to be explained by higher levels of health needs, and not solely by a greater readiness to consult for whatever reason. General practitioners working in deprived areas are likely to have to ‘run to keep up’ in dealing with such comorbidity, and ways of supporting them in the provision of optimum healthcare need to be considered

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wyke, Professor Sally and Hunt, Professor Kathryn and Wilson, Dr Philip
Authors: Wyke, S., Hunt, K., Walker, J., and Wilson, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:European Journal of General Practice
Journal Abbr.:Eur J Gen Pract
ISSN:1381-4788

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