Consultation with the general practitioner triggered by advice from social network members

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether advice from a person's social network triggers contact with the general practitioner (GP).

DESIGN: Case-crossover design comparing the frequency of advice given to seek medical attention in the period before contact with a GP and the frequency in matching control time periods for the same individual.

SETTING: Twenty-one Danish GPs working in single-handed practices.

SUBJECTS: 322 patients, aged between 18 and 91 years, were interviewed by telephone after an unscheduled visit to their GP; 148 were interviewed again 3-6 months later.

MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES: The odds of individuals consulting their GP after receiving advice from network members in the period before they contacted their GP compared with the odds of those consulting their GP in the control period(s).

RESULTS: Being advised by others to seek medical attention increased the likelihood of seeking primary health care approximately fivefold--single men received advice significantly less frequently (7%) than women (18%) and cohabiting men (32%).

CONCLUSION: Advice from other social network members to seek medical attention is a frequent and influential cue prompting individuals to contact their GP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)54-9
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

    Research areas

  • Cross-Over Studies, Denmark, Family Practice/statistics & numerical data, Female, Friends/psychology, Health Services Research, Humans, Male, Odds Ratio, Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology, Persuasive Communication, Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data, Social Support

ID: 324177575