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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Abstract

Background: Understanding the factors associated with demands for general practice care is crucial for policy decision makers to appropriately allocate healthcare resources. Aim: To investigate factors associated with the frequency of GP consultations. Design & setting: Data on 8086 adults aged ≥16 years was obtained from cross-sectional Health Survey for England (HSE) 2019. Method: 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 [OR] 1.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.64 to 2.01), those aged ≥75 years (OR 1.48, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.92), ethnic minority populations (Black: OR 1.42, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.84; Asian: OR 1.53, 95% CI = 1.25 to 1.87), lowest household income (OR 1.53, 95% CI = 1.29 to 1.83), adults with long-lasting illnesses (OR 3.78, 95% CI = 3.38 to 4.22), former smokers (OR 1.17, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.22), being overweight (OR 1.14, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.29), and being obese (OR 1.32, 95% CI = 1.16 to 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. Conclusion: The higher frequency of consultation of GPs is associated with female sex, older age, ethnic minority populations, being socioeconomically disadvantaged, existence of lasting illnesses, smoking, being overweight, and being obese. 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
Volume7
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2023

Keywords

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

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