Why do patients with minor complaints choose emergency departments and does satisfaction with primary care services influence their decisions?

Akpinar Y., Demirci H., Budak E., Baran A. K. , Candar A., OCAKOĞLU G.

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, vol.19, no.4, pp.398-406, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s1463423617000822
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.398-406


Aim: To identify the reasons why patients with minor complaints choose emergency departments (EDs) as a first contact of care and whether dissatisfaction with primary care services influences their decisions. Methods: In this study, a self-completed survey called EUROPEP was given to 535 outpatients who were admitted to the XXXXX Hospital in Bursa and examined in the green zone in July 2015. Patients were asked about their complaints and why they preferred EDs as a first contact of care. Results: EDs were the first contact of care in 87.8% of cases. In all, 9% of patients registered to family physicians who were working outside the city of Bursa. There was no relationship between patient satisfaction and the number of previous visits to EDs in last 12 months (P=0.09). The main reasons for admitting to the emergency services were feeling excessive pain (20.4%), perception of urgency (14.5%) and that the family doctor services were closed outside working hours (13.2%). The mean patient satisfaction with family practice offices was calculated to be 68.1%. Conclusions: The frequency of admission to EDs as a first contact of care was extremely high in the absence of a referral system. Patients who did not have family doctors in the settlement where they live put an extra burden on the EDs. Overall, patient satisfaction with their GPs did not influence the number of visits to EDs but accessibility remains a big challenge.