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Article

Assessment of the Consultation Rate with General Practitioners in the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Collegium Medicum, School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10-726 Olsztyn, Poland
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Department of Water Resources, Climatology and Environmental Management, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10-726 Olsztyn, Poland
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Collegium Medicum, School of Medicine, Department of Cardiology and Internal Medicine, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, 10-726 Olsztyn, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217710
Received: 3 September 2020 / Revised: 18 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 22 October 2020
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic affected the functioning of healthcare systems (HSs) in a way that was difficult to foresee earlier. It quickened the introduction of e-medicine, and changed the manner and number of services provided in the open medical setting. Aim: To assess variations in the consultation rate of patients in primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in consecutive months of the pandemic. Method: Data collected from two PHCs located in Olsztyn (Poland) were analyzed retrospectively. Collectively, these two centers provide care for approximately 20,000 inhabitants and perform approximately 100,000 medical services annually. The analysis was based on data covering the period April–July of the years 2010–2020, consisting in total of 337,510 medical services records. Results: A large, statistically significant decrease in the consultation rate (consultation rate understood as the number of individuals seeking consultation in relation to the number of people under care in a given time period) was revealed in each age group in the initial phase of the pandemic. In consecutive months, the approximated consultation rate achieved mean long-term values. Conclusions. The largest reduction in the consultation rate was revealed in the youngest age group, with the smallest occurring in the oldest. In the group of patients older than 65 years of age, the consultation rate after 3 months of the pandemic was the same as before the outbreak. Variations in the consultation rate were independent of the epidemiological situation. During the study, we observed an increased level of the administrative and paperwork activities carried out by PHC physicians. View Full-Text
Keywords: general practitioner; COVID-19; fear; attendance; administrative activities general practitioner; COVID-19; fear; attendance; administrative activities
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ochal, M.; Romaszko, M.; Glińska-Lewczuk, K.; Gromadziński, L.; Romaszko, J. Assessment of the Consultation Rate with General Practitioners in the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7710. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217710

AMA Style

Ochal M, Romaszko M, Glińska-Lewczuk K, Gromadziński L, Romaszko J. Assessment of the Consultation Rate with General Practitioners in the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):7710. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217710

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ochal, Michał, Małgorzata Romaszko, Katarzyna Glińska-Lewczuk, Leszek Gromadziński, and Jerzy Romaszko. 2020. "Assessment of the Consultation Rate with General Practitioners in the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 7710. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217710

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