Patient's experiences of continuity in the care of type 2 diabetes: A focus group study in primary care

Mohammed H. Alazri, Richard D. Neal, Phil Heywood, Brenda Leese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Continuity of care is fundamental to general practice and type 2 diabetes is a common chronic disease with major health and social impacts. Nevertheless continuity, as experienced by patients with type 2 diabetes, remains a neglected area. Aim: To explore perceptions and exp eriences of continuity of care in general practice from the perspectives of patients with type 2 diabetes, focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of continuity. Design of study: Focus groups with patients. Setting: Seven practices with different organisational structures in Leeds, UK. Method: Seventy-nine patients with type 2 diabetes were recr uited. Focus group interviews were conducted with 79 patients with type 2 diabetes from seven practices in Leeds, UK. Results: Patients experienc ed three different types of continuity: relational (or longitudinal) continuity, cross-boundary (or team) continuity, and continuity of information. Patients' perceptions of continuity were influenced by several factors including a personal relationship between themselves and their healthcare professional, their own beliefs and behaviours, presence of diabetes, and the systems and structures of general practices. Patients identified the advantages and disadvantages of two types of continuity. Relational or longitudinal continuity was important in providing psychosocial care, but with a risk of misdiagnosis. The advantages of cross-boundary or team continuity were to provide physical care, whereas the main disadvantages were the absence of personal care and patient confusion. Conclusion: Perceptions of continuity by patients with type 2 diabetes were influenced by several factors; they perceived several advantages and disadvantages associated with different types of continuity. Patients might expect certain healthcare benefits by following certain types of continuity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-495
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number528
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006



  • Continuity of care
  • General practice
  • Patients
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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