Hoffmann, K., George, A., Dorner, T.E., Süß, K., Schäfer, W.L.A., Maier, M.
Primary health care teams put to the test a cross-sectional study from Austria within the QUALICOPC project.
BMC Family Practice, 16 (2015) 168,
Background: Multidisciplinary Primary Health Care Teams (PHCT) provide a comprehensive approach to address the social and health needs of communities. It was the aim of this analysis to assess the number of PHCT in Austria, a country with a weak PHC system, and to compare preventive activities, psychosocial care, and work satisfaction between GPs who work and those who do not work in PHCT. Method: Within the QUALICOPC study, data collection was performed between November 2011 and May 2012, utilizing a standardized questionnaire for GPs. A stratified sample of GPs from across Austria was invited. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics and tests. Results: Data from 171 GPs questionnaires were used for this analysis. Of these, 61.1 % (n = 113) had a monodisciplinary office, 26.3 % (n = 45) worked in an office consisting of GP, receptionist and one additional primary care profession, and 7.6 % (n = 13) worked in a larger PHCT. GPs that worked in larger PHCT were younger and more involved in psychosocial and preventive care. No differences were found with regard to work satisfaction or workload.
Conclusions: This study gives insight into the structures of PHC in Austria. The results indicate a low number of PHCT; however, the overall return rate in our sample was low with more male GPs, more GPs fromurban areas and more GPs working in offices together with other physicians than the national average. Younger GPs demonstrate a greater tendency to implement this primary care practice model in their practices, which seems to be associated with an emphasis in psychosocial and preventive care. If Austria is to increase the number of PHC teams, the country should embrace the work of young GPs and should offer relevant support for PHCT. Future developments could be guided by considering effective models of good practice and governmental support as in other countries. (aut. ref.)