Ugeskr Læger 2008;170(25):2228-2231
Summary Practice staff's participation in preventive measures among adult patients in general practice Ugeskr Læger 2008;170(25):2228-2231 Introduction: Prevention of lifestyle-related diseases and related complications represents an increasing part of daily work in general practice. In relation to selected doctor and patient characteristics we analyzed 1) the practice staff's current involvement in preventive measures, and 2) the doctors' wishes for increased involvement. Materials and methods: In total, 378 out of 381 general practitioners from ten counties participating in "Audit on prevention in general practice 2004" filled in a two-page questionnaire. Results: Almost all (377/378) had staff employed. More than half of the doctors stated that the staff performed tasks in connection with weight control, vaccination of adults, blood pressure checks, lung function tests, alcohol abuse treatment and dietary counselling. A total of 72% of the doctors wished for greater staff involvement within one or more areas, especially dietary counselling and smoking cessation support. The staff was more frequently involved in the tasks for doctors who had a nurse employed compared with doctors who did not. Except for skin prick tests no connection was found between the staff's participation and the doctor's sex and age, the type and size of the practice, and the extent of the regional lack of doctors. Conclusion: Staff in general practice perform many preventive tasks related to the eight common chronic diseases, but most frequently in practices where there is a nurse employed. Although the participating doctors may have a special interest in the topic, there seems to be a basis for further staff involvement in this type of tasks. Further studies should, however, elucidate whether the participation of the staff substitutes the doctor's work to the extent desired and with sufficient quality.