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Response of General Practitioners to Infectious Disease Public Health Crises: An Integrative Systematic Review of the Literature

  • Marina Kunin (a1), Dan Engelhard (a2), Leon Piterman (a3) and Shane Thomas (a4)

Abstract

Objective

Previous research has identified gaps in pandemic response planning for primary care. Identifying the challenges that general practitioners (GPs) face during public health crises of infectious diseases will help to improve prepandemic planning. In this integrative systematic review, we identified research-based evidence to (1) challenges that GPs have when participating in pandemics or epidemics and (2) whether GPs from different countries encountered different challenges.

Methods

A systematic search was conducted in MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses databases during October to November 2012 to identify studies relevant to experience by GPs during epidemics or pandemics.

Results

Six quantitative, 2 mixed method, and 2 qualitative studies met the inclusion criteria. The challenges identified were not exclusive to specific countries and encompassed different responses to outbreaks. These challenges included difficulties with information access; supply and use of personal protective equipment; performing public health responsibilities; obtaining support from the authorities; appropriate training; and the emotional effects of participating in the response to an infectious disease with unknown characteristics and lethality.

Conclusion

GPs’ response to public health crises in different countries presents potential for improving pandemic preparedness. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;0:1-12)

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Marina Kunin, MA, School of Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Bldg 1, 270 Ferntree Gully Rd, Notting Hill, VIC 3168 Australia (e-mail marina.kunin@monash.edu).

References

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Response of General Practitioners to Infectious Disease Public Health Crises: An Integrative Systematic Review of the Literature

  • Marina Kunin (a1), Dan Engelhard (a2), Leon Piterman (a3) and Shane Thomas (a4)

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