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We sought to examine strength of primary care service delivery as measured by selected process indicators by general practitioners from 31 European countries plus Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. We explored the relation between strength of service delivery and healthcare expenditures.
The strength of a country’s primary care is determined by the degree of development of a combination of core primary care dimensions in the context of its healthcare system. This study analyses the strength of service delivery in primary care as measured through process indicators in 31 European countries plus Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
A comparative cross-sectional study design was applied using the QUALICOPC GP database. Data on the strength of primary healthcare were collected using a standardized GP questionnaire, which included 60 questions divided into 10 dimensions related to process, structure, and outcomes. A total of 6734 general practitioners participated. Data on healthcare expenditure were obtained from World Bank statistics. We conducted a correlation analysis to analyse the relationship between strength and healthcare expenditures.
Our findings show that the strength of service delivery parameters is less than optimal in some countries, and there are substantial variations among countries. Continuity and comprehensiveness of care are significantly positively related to national healthcare expenditures; however, coordination of care is not.
Factors associated with depression are usually identified from cross-sectional studies.
We explore the relative roles of onset and recovery in determining these associations.
Hazard ratios for onset and recovery were estimated for 39 risk factors from a cohort study of 10 045 general practice attendees whose depression status was assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 months.
Risk factors have a stronger relative effect on the rate of onset than recovery. The strongest risk factors for both onset and maintenance of depression tend to be time-dependent. With the exception of female gender the strength of a risk factor's effect on onset is highly predictive of its impact on recovery.
Preventive measures will achieve a greater reduction in the prevalence of depression than measures designed to eliminate risk factors post onset. The strength of time-dependent risk factors suggests that it is more productive to focus on proximal rather than distal factors.
There is evidence that the prevalence of common mental disorders varies
To compare prevalence of common mental disorders in general practice
attendees in six European countries.
Unselected attendees to general practices in the UK, Spain, Portugal,
Slovenia, Estonia and The Netherlands were assessed for major depression,
panic syndrome and other anxiety syndrome. Prevalence of DSM–IV major
depression, other anxiety syndrome and panic syndrome was compared
between the UK and other countries after taking account of differences in
demographic factors and practice consultation rates.
Prevalence was estimated in 2344 men and 4865 women. The highest
prevalence for all disorders occurred in the UK and Spain, and lowest in
Slovenia and The Netherlands. Men aged 30–50 and women aged 18–30 had the
highest prevalence of major depression; men aged 40–60 had the highest
prevalence of anxiety, and men and women aged 40–50 had the highest
prevalence of panic syndrome. Demographic factors accounted for the
variance between the UK and Spain but otherwise had little impact on the
significance of observed country differences.
These results add to the evidence for real differences between European
countries in prevalence of psychological disorders and show that the
burden of care on general practitioners varies markedly between
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