Frequent attendance in family practice and common mental disorders in an open access health care system

Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 04/18/2012

When adjusting for confounders, among the four psychiatric diagnoses investigated only somatoform disorders remain significantly associated with frequent attendance. Physical health and chronic disease were no longer associated with frequent attendance which does not support the hypothesis that in an open access fee–for–service system, patients will consult for a wider range of health problems. Greater investigation into unexplained somatic symptoms could help reduce the frequency of attendance in both primary and secondary care, as this behaviour appears to be a general health–seeking drive than extends beyond family practice.

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