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Table 1 Information on data collection and data sets

From: Diagnostic scope in out-of-hours primary care services in eight European countries: an observational study

  Countries
  Belgium Denmark Germany Netherlands Norway Slovenia Spain Switzerland
Contacts (N) 1368 974 1076 2048 3000 2637 1402 649
Period of data collection 22-01-2010 until 22-02-2010 1-05-2009 until 30-06-2009 1-05-2009 until 30-06-2009 1-05-2009 until 30-06-2009 01-05-2009 until 30-06-2009 01-05-2009 until 30-06-2009 01-05-2009 until 10-06-2009 Jan-Febr 2009, Aug-Sept 2009
Regions and population size 1: North, urban only, 110000 inhabitants (N = 679)
2: North, small town & rural, 77000 inhabitants (N = 689)
North West, urban & rural, 1250000 inhabitants (N = 974) South West, rural, 50000 inhabitants (N = 1076) 1. South East, urban, 315000 inhabitants (N = 1074)
2. Central, urban & rural, 175000 inhabitants (N = 974)
1. West, urban & rural, 25000 (N = 1000) inhabitants
2. East, urban & rural, 100000 inhabitants (N = 1000)
3. East, urban & rural 63000 inhabitants (N = 1000)
1. North West, urban & rural, 30000 inhabitants (N = 985)
2. Central, urban, 250000 inhabitants (N = 684)
3. East, urban & rural, 30000 in habitants (N = 968)
1 and 2. North East, urban, 160000 + 136000 inhabitants (N = 1402) North, urban, 400000 inhabitants (N = 649)
Inclusion All patients Computerised randomisation Face to face and telephone contacts According to criteria; computerised randomisation Computerised randomisation Only face to face contacts; computerised randomisation for region 1 and 3 According to criteria; computerised randomisation In 1st and 2nd period, all patient contacts were counted but further patient info was only documented for 1st , 2nd and last contact
Exclusion Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable Prescriptions; follow-up contacts Not applicable Telephone contacts (not systematically recorded); prescriptions Not applicable Almost all
Missings No missings Missings for diagnosis replaced by symptoms ICPC code is not necessary for patients with private insurance; missings for diagnosis replaced by symptoms Missings for diagnosis replaced by symptoms No missings No missings No missings Gender: this variable was not on the questionnaire in the 2nd period; Age: compliance of GP's filling out questionnaire
ICPC ICPC2 ICPC ICPC, several codes per contact ICPC 1, partly manual ICPC 2, several codes per contact ICD10, manually recoded into ICPC2 ICD10, manually recoded into ICPC2 ICPC, several codes per contact
Recording symptoms/diagnosis By GP By GP Symptoms by nurse and GP; diagnosis by GP Symptoms by triage nurse (telephone consult) and additional by GP; diagnosis by GP Symptoms by triage nurse (telephone consult) and additional by GP; diagnosis by GP and sometimes by a nurse in telephone consultations By GP By GP By GP
Coding by GP, an administrator, reviews all reports (RFE recoded by GP of group) Coding afterwards by a medical student Nurses coded symptoms at the beginning. GP/physician coded diagnosis at the end GP at the end of the contact; a trained nurse filled in the blanks GP at the end of the contact; sometimes by a nurse at the end of a telephone consultation Manual by researcher from the Netherlands; checked by national researcher Manual by researcher from the Netherlands; checked by national researcher Two researchers (MD)
  1. Countries had different health care services; therefore opening hours of out-of-hours services varied across countries.
  2. Swiss: patients contacting via the EMST (triage telephone line) were included and data collection was performed with a paper survey.