Point of care testing and selftest related consultations in general practices in the Netherlands: an exploratory study on general practitioners’ experiences

Hofland, H.J. (2010) Point of care testing and selftest related consultations in general practices in the Netherlands: an exploratory study on general practitioners’ experiences.

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Abstract:Background: In recent years, a wide range of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) point of care tests (POC) and selftests have become available for use by health professionals and individual consumers or patients. Both types of tests may have potential benefits and consequences for general practice care. Therefore, the present study investigated GPs experiences with POC testing and selftest related consultations in general practices in the Netherlands. - Methods: Two-phased study design, i.e. questionnaire followed by semi-structured interviews. Three-hundred randomly selected GPs from the NIVEL register of GPs were sent a questionnaire that collected data regarding the use of POC tests and occurrence of selftest related consultations in general practice. Subsequently, 11 self-enrolled GPs were contacted for an interview to discuss their experiences in greater depth. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the questionnaire answers. Interviews were recorded and analysed using thematic analysis. - Results: Usable questionnaires were returned by 123/294 GPs (42%). Experiences with POC testing related mainly to three types of tests (nitrite, glucose and haemoglobin) for which the users were classified as ‘general users’, representing 80% of the GPs. The other 20% of the GPs were classified as ‘innovative users’ by their use of additional tests (D-dimer, candida, cholesterol, faecal occult blood, Creactive protein, troponin and glandular fever test). A large proportion of 70% of the GPs reported willingness to use additional tests in the future. Overall, interviews illustrated satisfaction with current routines wherein the GPs’ assistant operates the POC tests in practice. Additional tests would be considered for implementation if value is demonstrated and costs are reimbursed. Experiences with selftest related consultations were limited to only one third of the GPs observing selftests. Most often observed selftests included tests for diabetes, kidney disease, female fertility and cholesterol. Interviewed GPs had almost no experience with selftest related consultations and accordingly they did not feel that the use of selftests has consequences for general practice care. - Conclusion: In comparison with the wide range of POC tests and selftests available, GPs’ experiences with both tests are limited. POC testing in general practice seems to have the potential to increase when value is demonstrated and costs are reimbursed. It is important that more attention is given to operator training and quality control when POC test are used in general practice. Follow-up behaviour of selftesters remains unknown. This needs to be investigated among actual users.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
RIVM
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Health Sciences MSc (66851)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60618
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