Understanding "revolving door" patients in general practice: a qualitative study

Williamson, A.E., Mullen, K. and Wilson, P. (2014) Understanding "revolving door" patients in general practice: a qualitative study. BMC Family Practice, 15(33), (doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-33)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-15-33

Abstract

Background "Revolving door" patients in general practice are repeatedly removed from general practitioners' (GP) lists. This paper reports a qualitative portion of the first mixed methods study of these marginalised patients.

Methods We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with six practitioner services staff and six GPs in Scotland, utilizing Charmazian grounded theory to characterise "revolving door" patients and their impact from professionals' perspectives.

Results "Revolving door" patients were reported as having three necessary characteristics; they had unreasonable expectations, exhibited inappropriate behaviours and had unmet health needs. A range of boundary breaches were reported too when "revolving door" patients interacted with NHS staff.

Conclusions We utilise the "sensitising concepts" of legitimacy by drawing on literature about "good and bad" patients and "dirty work designations". We relate these to the core work of general practice and explore the role that medical and moral schemas have in how health service professionals understand and work with "revolving door" patients. We suggest this may have wider relevance for the problem doctor patient relationship literature.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mullen, Dr Kenneth and Wilson, Dr Philip and Williamson, Dr Andrea
Authors: Williamson, A.E., Mullen, K., and Wilson, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:BMC Family Practice
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2296
ISSN (Online):1471-2296

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