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Mapping GP integration in the health care system in different locations in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by D Dunt, D Souther, Gerald Elsworth, C Harris, M Potiriadis, D Young
The study's objective was to map general practitioner (GP) integration in urban and rural locations as well as areas defined by Divisions of General Practice (DGP) in Australia. A cross-sectional mail survey of a stratified random, national sample of 2029 GP members of DGPs was conducted to estimate their GP integration index scores. Data on other measures of GP integration-related behaviour were also collected. Rural GPs had higher levels of GP integration than urban GPs, judged by their GP higher-order factor scores, their integration factor scores and integration enabling factor scores. This applied to their patient care management roles but, more substantially, their wider role in community health. Rural GPs had higher levels of involvement in Enhanced Primary Care within their practice and with other health practitioners, hospitals and DGPs outside their practice. A small number of DGP areas showed consistently higher or lower levels of GP integration compared to all other DGP areas in the same urban/rural locations. It was concluded that levels of GP integration varied in geographic location across Australia. Urban DGPs, particularly poorly-performing ones, should be closely monitored in terms of their response to recent initiatives to promote GP integration, and should be the focus of future initiatives.