Doctors' experience of health access - a systematic review

Kay, Margaret, Mitchell, Geoff, Clavarino, Alexandra and Doust, Jenny (2007). Doctors' experience of health access - a systematic review. In: Program and Abstracts. 2007 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference, Sydney, Australia, (). 23 - 25 May 2007.

Author Kay, Margaret
Mitchell, Geoff
Clavarino, Alexandra
Doust, Jenny
Title of paper Doctors' experience of health access - a systematic review
Conference name 2007 General Practice and Primary Health Care Research Conference
Conference location Sydney, Australia
Conference dates 23 - 25 May 2007
Proceedings title Program and Abstracts
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Primary Health Care Research and Information Service
Publication Year 2007
Sub-type Oral presentation
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Aims & rationale/Objectives
The objective of this presentation is to define the current data describing the barriers that doctors confront when accessing health care. This knowledge is essential to inform solutions.

This systematic review involved searching Medline, CINAHL and PsycINFO electronically, supplemented with a search of the citation lists. Twenty articles, published since 1980, were identified describing doctors' health access behaviours. The data were tabulated, compared and analysed.

Principal findings

This review has collated the health access data presently available in the literature and highlights the paucity of data that exists. This in itself is a significant finding. The analysis reveals the limitations of the conclusions that can be made from the data and recognises many assumptions that have been made. Important gaps in our knowledge are identified to guide further research.

There are few studies that provide data describing how doctors access their health care and the barriers they experience. Few doctors have an independent general practitioner, yet their risk of chronic illness and their need for preventive health screening is the same as the general population. The barriers that exist for doctors are complex: cultural, psychological and personal. This complexity is often difficult to explore in observational surveys. The differences in the type and quality of data collected are noted. The conclusions in the articles often reflect expert opinion rather than the data collected. The importance of further qualitative research to assist in the interpretation of the data is emphasised.


Enhancing doctors' health is part of building a sustainable future for general practice. This review emphasises the limitations of our present knowledge about the health access behaviours of doctors. The purpose of this review is to encourage further exploration of these issues so that well informed educational programs can be developed.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Link to powerpoint:

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Sat, 28 Jul 2012, 19:16:17 EST by Dr Margaret Kay on behalf of Discipline of General Practice