Factors associated with the consultation of general practitioners among adults aged 16 and over: analysis of data from 2019 Health Survey for England

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Background - Understanding of factors associated with demands for general practice (GP) care is crucial for policy decision makers to appropriately allocate health care resources.
Aim -To investigate factors associated with the frequency of GP consultations.
Design and setting -Data on 8086 adults aged ≥16 years was obtained from cross-sectional Health Survey for England 2019.
Methods -The primary outcome was the frequency of consultations of a GP in the last 12 months. Multivariable ordered logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate associations between GP consultations and a range of sociodemographic and health-related factors.
Results –Frequency of GP consultations for all reasons was higher among females (odds ratio: 1.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.64-2.01), those aged 75 and over (1.48, 1.15-1.92), ethnic minority (Black 1.42, 1.09-1.84; Asian 1.53, 1.25-1.87), lowest household income (1.53, 1.29-1.83), adults with long-lasting illness (3.78, 3.38-4.22), former smokers (1.17, 1.04-1.22), overweight (1.14, 1.01-1.29) and obesity (1.32, 1.16-1.50). Predictors of consultations for physical health problems were similar to predictors of consultations for any health problems. However, younger age was associated with more consultations for mental health problems, or a combination of mental and physical health problems.
Conclusions - The higher frequency of consultation of general practitioners is associated with female sex, older age, ethnic minority, socioeconomically disadvantaged, existence of lasting illnesses, smoking, overweight and obesity. Older age is associated with increased consultations for physical health problems, but associated with reduced consultations for mental health or a combination of mental and physical health problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberBJGPO.2022.0177
JournalBJGP Open
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2023


  • general practice
  • general practitioners
  • consultation frequency
  • sociodemographic factors

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