To describe the characteristics of home health care delivered by general practitioners and to identify the conditions that facilitate or hinder development of this practice.
Quebec city region.
General practitioners in private practice, family practice units, community health centres, or hospitals.
A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather information on volume of home care provided, characteristics of clients and visits, methods of follow up, and factors that promoted or hindered home care.
Of the 487 physicians surveyed, 58.1% (283) made housecalls to a clientele consisting mainly of elderly patients (87.6%): 42% saw fewer than five patients per week, and 31% spent 2 hours or less per week on housecalls. Close to two thirds (64%) devoted 15 to 30 minutes to these visits, and 90.2% said they used community health centres for assessment or home follow up of their patients. Difficulties with scheduling and methods of remuneration reportedly hampered development of this practice.
Home care practice is widespread around Quebec city, but represents only a small portion of the clinical work of many GPs.
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