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Doctor shopping before and after a visit to a paediatric emergency department

Doctor shopping before and after a visit to a paediatric emergency department AbstractBACKGROUND:Use of multiple care providers is known to be associated with poor continuity of care.OBJECTIVES:To estimate the prevalence of and identify risk factors for doctor shopping by parents of children with common acute illnesses seen in the emergency department (ED) of a children's hospital.SETTING:ED at the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH), Montreal, Quebec.METHODS:Doctor shopping was defined as visiting three or more different care sites (the MCH ED, other EDs, outpatient clinics or private offices) for a single illness episode, including all visits occurring within successive 72 h periods up to a maximum of 15 days before and after an ED visit from April 1995 to March 1996. Logistic regression was used to compare characteristics of illness episodes with doctor shopping versus those without.RESULTS:Of the total 40,150 visits during the study period, doctor shopping was observed in 18% of the visits. The risk of doctor shopping was positively associated with an initial visit at other EDs (odds ratio [OR] 9.08, 95% CI 7.16 to 11.52), outpatient clinics (OR 4.47, 95% CI 3.71 to 5.37) or private offices (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.48 to 1.96) versus those who visited the MCH ED first. The risk did not differ according to whether a paediatrician versus a general practitioner saw the child during the initial visit (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.15). Some diagnoses (the reference category was upper respiratory infection), including urinary tract infection (OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.58 to 4.23) and gastroenteritis (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.88), were associated with an increased risk of doctor shopping, while asthma was associated with a reduced risk (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.86).CONCLUSION:Doctor shopping is common among parents of children with acute illnesses. Parents of children who were seen in the MCH ED first were less likely to doctor shop, perhaps because the parents were more confident about the advice and treatment received. Further research should investigate the underlying reasons for doctor shopping, eg, services other than an ED were not available and parents' perceptions of the quality of health services. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Paediatrics & Child Health Oxford University Press

Doctor shopping before and after a visit to a paediatric emergency department

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References (27)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© 2001, Pulsus Group Inc. All rights reserved
ISSN
1205-7088
eISSN
1918-1485
DOI
10.1093/pch/6.6.341
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractBACKGROUND:Use of multiple care providers is known to be associated with poor continuity of care.OBJECTIVES:To estimate the prevalence of and identify risk factors for doctor shopping by parents of children with common acute illnesses seen in the emergency department (ED) of a children's hospital.SETTING:ED at the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH), Montreal, Quebec.METHODS:Doctor shopping was defined as visiting three or more different care sites (the MCH ED, other EDs, outpatient clinics or private offices) for a single illness episode, including all visits occurring within successive 72 h periods up to a maximum of 15 days before and after an ED visit from April 1995 to March 1996. Logistic regression was used to compare characteristics of illness episodes with doctor shopping versus those without.RESULTS:Of the total 40,150 visits during the study period, doctor shopping was observed in 18% of the visits. The risk of doctor shopping was positively associated with an initial visit at other EDs (odds ratio [OR] 9.08, 95% CI 7.16 to 11.52), outpatient clinics (OR 4.47, 95% CI 3.71 to 5.37) or private offices (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.48 to 1.96) versus those who visited the MCH ED first. The risk did not differ according to whether a paediatrician versus a general practitioner saw the child during the initial visit (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.15). Some diagnoses (the reference category was upper respiratory infection), including urinary tract infection (OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.58 to 4.23) and gastroenteritis (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.88), were associated with an increased risk of doctor shopping, while asthma was associated with a reduced risk (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.86).CONCLUSION:Doctor shopping is common among parents of children with acute illnesses. Parents of children who were seen in the MCH ED first were less likely to doctor shop, perhaps because the parents were more confident about the advice and treatment received. Further research should investigate the underlying reasons for doctor shopping, eg, services other than an ED were not available and parents' perceptions of the quality of health services.

Journal

Paediatrics & Child HealthOxford University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2001

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