The prevalence and characteristics of frequent attenders in primary health care in a'dakhiliyah governorate of Oman

Badriya Al-Abadi, Jokha Al-Abadi, Wafa Al-Fannah, Lakshmanan Jeyaseelan, Abdullah Al-Maniri, Abdulaziz Al-Mahrezi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Frequent attenders (FAs) in general practice receive significant attention in primary care research due to the financial costs associated with the higher utilization of health care services. The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of FAs in Oman by studying the overall rates of adult patient visits to primary health care centers (PHCs) and identify the characteristics of this group of patients. Methods: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal study including all adults aged 18 years and above who visited general practitioner clinics at four selected PHCs in the A'Dakhiliyah governorate of Oman. Sociodemographic data and number of visits were extracted from the electronic medical records system. Results: A total number of 12 902 adult patients contributed to 42 425 patient visits, with the number of visits made by individual patients ranging from 1 to 62. FAs constituted 2.4% (n = 313) of the total subjects and made 5449 (12.8%) visits. The mean rate of visits per patient per year was 3.2, while the median was two visits. The overall rate of visits per day was more than two-times higher in females (79.6 per day) compared to males (36.6 per day) and was about five-times higher in female FA (12.3 vs. 2.6). Conclusions: FAs represent a small proportion of patients attending PHCs in Oman. The proportion of females was higher among FAs and they also contributed to a higher number of visits to PHCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalOman Medical Journal
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018

Keywords

  • General practice
  • Health services
  • Oman
  • Prevalence
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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