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Influences of socioeconomic deprivation on GPs’ decisions to refer patients to cardiology: a qualitative study.

A new interesting article has been published in Br J Gen Pract. 2018 Oct 22. pii: bjgp18X699785. doi: 10.3399/bjgp18X699785. [Epub ahead of print] and titled:

Influences of socioeconomic deprivation on GPs’ decisions to refer patients to cardiology: a qualitative study.

Authors of this article are:

Walton E, Ahmed A, Burton C, Mathers N.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Variation in GP referral practice may be a factor contributing to the lower uptake of cardiology specialist services for people living in socioeconomic deprivation. Cardiology referrals were chosen for this study due to higher rates of premature death and emergency admissions resulting from coronary heart disease for patients living in more deprived areas.AIM: To find out how socioeconomic deprivation influences GP referral practice.DESIGN AND SETTING: A qualitative study of GPs working in affluent and deprived areas of one large city in the UK.METHOD: The authors used purposive and snowball sampling to recruit 17 GP participants to interviews and a focus group. Participants were asked to reflect on their own experience of making referrals. The authors used a framework approach to the analysis, with differences in themes for GPs working in least and most deprived areas being highlighted.RESULTS: The authors identified four main themes by which socioeconomic deprivation influenced GP referral practice: identifying problems; making decisions about referral; navigating the healthcare system; and external pressures. Using a published framework of consultation complexity, the authors then examined the data in relation to a fifth theme of complexity. Referrals from areas of high socioeconomic deprivation involved greater complexity in the majority of the domains of this framework.CONCLUSION: Socioeconomic deprivation influences GP referral decisions and navigation of the healthcare system in multiple ways. Referral practice for GPs working in deprived areas is more complex than for their peers working in more affluent areas.© British Journal of General Practice 2018.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:

This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:

cardiology;coronary disease;family practice;general practice;health literacy;primary health care;referral and consultation;socioeconomic factors


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