[Primary care consultation rates among the middle aged and elderly] Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The consultation rate among family physicians has been widely discussed in the literature, but very few studies have been done in Israel. We analyzed the pattern of visits to the family physician of 1,860 patients aged 40 years and older in 3 urban clinics, 2 kibbutzim and 1 rural clinic with a total population of 6,700. The consultation rate rose steadily with age. It was 3.4 per year at age 40-49, and 5.6 at ages 70 and over, with a mean annual rate of 4.6. 77% of the screened population consulted the physician in 1 year and 91.4% in 3 years. Only 9.6% did not visit their physicians in the 3 years. About two-thirds visited the physician 1-4 times a year, and only 2% visited more than 15 times. In urban practices women attended more often than men but there was no significant sex difference in the rural practices. As a result of the greater visit rates of the elderly, they consumed a larger share of medical services. The mean consultation rate in this survey is similar to that in England and in other Western countries. However, it is relatively low in comparison to other studies in Israel. This may be due to the different practice setting and the use of a different sampling frame.

publication date

  • March 1, 1993