To identify trends in family practice in London, Ont, between 1974 and 1994.
Interview survey of all London family physicians in 1974. Questionnaire surveys in 1984 and 1994.
City of London, Ont.
One hundred twenty-eight family physicians and general practitioners practising in London in 1974, 180 in 1984, and 237 in 1994.
The percentage of female practitioners, practitioners with no in-hospital patients, and practitioners making no home visits in an average week increased significantly. The percentage of solo practitioners and family physicians practising obstetrics decreased significantly. Changes were found in the numbers of patients seen, in weekend coverage, in evening, and Wednesday afternoon office hours, and in level of satisfaction with practice.
Fewer physicians cared for in-hospital patients, made home visits, practised solo, and delivered babies in 1994 than in 1974. Substantially more women were practising family medicine in 1994 than in 1974. The trend away from in-hospital care, with no corresponding increase in home care, raises questions about how urban family physicians can maintain certain clinical skills.
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Recent studies suggest that comprehensiveness of primary care has declined steadily over the past decade. This study tracks the participation rates of general practitioners and family physicians in 6 nonoffice settings across Ontario and examines among which types of physicians this decline in comprehensiveness has occurred.
Billing (claims) records were used to determine the proportions of fee-for-service general practitioners and family physicians who provided emergency, inpatient, nursing home, house call, anesthesia or obstetrical services from 1989/90 to 1999/2000. "Office-only" physicians were those who worked in none of these nonoffice settings. The relation of various physician characteristics to comprehensiveness of care was tested with multivariate analysis for 1999/2000.
The proportion of "office-only" general practitioners and family physicians rose from 14% in 1989/90 to 24% in 1999/2000 (p
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Ischaemic heart disease and congestive heart failure are common and important conditions in family practice. Effective treatments may be underutilized, particularly in women and the elderly. The objective of the study was to determine the rate of prescribing of evidence-based cardiovascular medications and determine if these differed by patient age or sex.
We conducted a two-year cross-sectional study involving all hospitals in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Subjects were all patients admitted with ischaemic heart disease with or without congestive heart failure between 15 October 1997 and 14 October 1999. The main measure was the previous outpatient use of recommended medications. Chi-square analyses followed by multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine age-sex differences.
Usage of recommended medications varied from approximately 60% for beta-blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to 90% for antihypertensive agents. Patients aged 75 and over were significantly less likely than younger patients to be taking any of the medication classes. Following adjustment for age, there were no significant differences in medication use by sex except among women aged 75 and older who were more likely to be taking beta-blockers than men in the same age group.
The use of evidence-based cardiovascular medications is rising and perhaps approaching reasonable levels for some drug classes. Family physicians should ensure that all eligible patients (prior myocardial infarction, congestive failure) are offered beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors.
Although there is much room for improvement in the performance of recommended preventive manoeuvres, many inappropriate preventive interventions are being done. We evaluated a multifaceted intervention, delivered by nurses trained in prevention facilitation, to improve prevention in primary care.
Forty-six health service organizations (HSOs) were recruited from 100 sites in Ontario. After baseline data were collected, we randomly assigned the practices to either an 18-month (July 1997 to December 1998) multifaceted intervention delivered by 1 of 3 nurse facilitators (23 practices) or no intervention (23 practices). The unit of intervention and analysis was the medical practice. The outcome measure was an overall index of preventive performance, which was calculated as the proportion of eligible patients who received 8 recommended preventive manoeuvres less the proportion of eligible patients who received 5 inappropriate preventive manoeuvres.
One HSO, in the intervention group, was lost to follow-up. Before the intervention, the index of preventive performance was similar for the intervention and control groups (31.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 27.3%-36.5%] and 32.1% [95% CI 27.2%-37.0%] respectively). At follow-up the corresponding values were 43.2% (95% CI 38.4%-48.0%) and 31.9% (95% CI 26.8%-37.0%), for an absolute improvement in the intervention group of 11.5% (p