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Worrying about wasting GP time as a barrier to help-seeking: a community-based, qualitative study

Cromme, SK, Whitaker, K, Winstanley, K, Renzi, C, Friedemann Smith, C and Wardle, J (2016) Worrying about wasting GP time as a barrier to help-seeking: a community-based, qualitative study British Journal of General Practice, 66 (648). pp. 474-482.

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Abstract

Background Worrying about wasting GP time is frequently cited as a barrier to help-seeking for cancer symptoms. Aim To explore the circumstances under which individuals feel that they are wasting GP time. Design and setting Community-based, qualitative interview studies that took place in London, the South East and the North West of England. Method Interviewees (n = 62) were recruited from a sample (n = 2042) of adults aged ≥50 years, who completed a ‘health survey’ that included a list of cancer ‘alarm’ symptoms. Individuals who reported symptoms at baseline that were still present at the 3-month follow-up (n = 271), and who had also consented to be contacted (n = 215), constituted the pool of people invited for interview. Analyses focused on accounts of worrying about wasting GP time. Results Participants were worried about wasting GP time when time constraints were visible, while dismissive interactions with their GP induced a worry of unnecessary help-seeking. Many felt that symptoms that were not persistent, worsening, or life-threatening did not warrant GP attention. Additionally, patients considered it time-wasting when they perceived attention from nurses or pharmacists to be sufficient, or when appointment structures (for example, ‘one issue per visit’) were not adhered to. Close relationships with GPs eased worries about time-wasting, while some patients saw GPs as fulfilling a service financed by taxpayers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Health Care
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Cromme, SKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Whitaker, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Winstanley, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Renzi, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Friedemann Smith, CUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wardle, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 July 2016
Identification Number : 10.3399/bjgp16X685621
Copyright Disclaimer : © British Journal of General Practice 2016 This is an OpenAccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 23 Aug 2016 15:10
Last Modified : 23 Aug 2016 15:10
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/811774

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