Patients absent from work through sickness expect the GP to play a prominent role: Patiënten verwachten bij ziekteverzuim een prominente rol van de huisarts
van Heuvel, F.D.
TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Background Employees absent from work through sickness often have contact with their GP and their occupational physician (OP). Little is as yet known about what they think of such contacts. We studied the employees' experience with and their opinions about these doctors. Method Unemployment services sent questionnaires to a sample of 5800 sick listed employees. Response rate 42%. In order to compare subgroups, we calculated percentages, average scale scores, paired t-tests and χ2 tests. Results During their absenteeism the respondents - of whom 83% reported to have a chronic condition - had had contact with a variety of doctors: - 89% had had contact with their GP at least once, 65% more often; - 92% had had contact with the OP at least once, 80% more often. While 29% of the respondents regarded the specialist as the most important treating physician - against only 17% the GR and 11% the OP - 36% would rather consult the GP and 34% preferred to go to the OP. Only 12% showed a preference for the medical specialist. Important aspects regarding CPs and OPs, according to respondents were independence, communication, knowledge of the relationship between work and health and - especially - trust. As far as these points are concerned, patients assess GPs more positively than OPs and when they have health problems they prefer to visit the GP. They have no problem with contact between doctors nor with a doctor's wish to look into their (electronic) patient file, provided they are able to give informed consent. Conclusion Employees expect their OP to fulfil a more prominent role during sickness absence, but they most certainly expect the same from their GP.
To reference this document use:
Veilig en Gezond Werken
doctor patient relation
major clinical study
Student t test
Huisarts en Wetenschap, 52 (3), 147-151