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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ALLER, Marta-Beatriz et al. Factors associated to experienced continuity of care between primary and outpatient secondary care in the Catalan public healthcare system. Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.3, pp.207-213. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To analyze patient's reported elements of relational, informational and managerial (dis)continuity between primary and outpatient secondary care and to identify associated factors. Methods: Cross-sectional study by means of a survey of a random sample of 1500 patients attended in primary and secondary care for the same condition. The study settings consisted of three health areas of the Catalan health system. Data were collected in 2010 using the CCAENA© questionnaire, which identifies patients' experiences of continuity of care. Descriptive analyses and multivariable logistic regression models were carried out. Results: Elements of continuity of care were experienced by most patients. However, elements of discontinuity were also identified: 20% and 15% were seen by more than one primary or secondary care physician, respectively. Their secondary care physician or both professionals were identified as responsible for their care by 40% and 45% of users, respectively. Approximately 20% reported a lack of information transfer. Finally, 72% of secondary care consultations were due to primary care referral, whilst only 36% reported a referral back to primary care. Associated factors were healthcare setting, age, sex, perceived health status and disease duration. Conclusion: Users generally reported continuity of care, although elements of discontinuity were also identified, which can be partially explained by the healthcare setting and some individual factors. Elements of discontinuity should be addressed to better adapt care to patients' needs.

Keywords : Continuity of patient care; Quality of healthcare; Healthcare levels; Healthcare surveys.

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