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Table 3 Practice characteristics and association with out-of-hours primary care use, adjusted for patient characteristics

From: Association between general practice characteristics and use of out-of-hours GP cooperatives

Variable Low use group High use group Odds ratioa
N (%) N (%) (95% CI)
Telephone accessibility    
Waiting time on telephone (minutes)    
 Mean (range) 1.04 (0–10) 1.97 (0–10) 1.26 (1.09-1.46)**
 Median (range)*** 0.41 (0–10) 0.88 (0–10)  
Telephone contact with assistantb possible (no answering machine) (hours a week)    
 Mean (range) 36.1 (9–45) 35.3 (14–45) 1.06 (0.97-1.15)
Telephone lines (per 1000 pts)    
 Mean (range) 1.3 (0.3-4.6) 1.4 (0.4-6.4) 1.51 (0.44-5.25)
Availability for consultations    
Waiting time for non urgent consultations (days)    
 Mean (range) 0.76 (0–5) 1.02 (0–5) 1.54 (0.67-3.53)
Consultation after 5 p.m. possible 14 (28.6) 8 (15.7) 0.42 (0.08-2.05)
Has telephone consulting hour 31 (63.3) 23 (45.1) 0.26 (0.05-1.34)
Open during holidays (with replacement) 24 (54.5) 15 (31.3) 0.42 (0.08-2.33)
Personally available for palliative patients (including out-of-hours) 41 (83.7) 25 (49.0) 0.22 (0.06-0.76)*
Clinician-hours (per 1000 pts)    
 Mean (range) 11.1 (2.0-30.2) 12.6 (5.1-24.1) 0.98 (0.81-1.17)
GP characteristics    
Age (years)    
 Mean (range) 51.9 (34–63) 53.6 (36–65) 1.00 (0.89-1.12)
Gender: female 6 (12.2) 9 (17.6) 2.38 (0.19-30.07)
Years of employment as GP    
 Mean (range) 19.8 (5–34) 21.6 (3–39) 1.00 (0.92-1.09)
Work satisfaction (score 1–10; 1 = low;10 = high)    
 Mean (range) 7.8 (7–9) 8.0 (4–10) 2.41 (0.80-7.23)
High experienced workload 26 (53.1) 38 (74.5) 2.18 (0.40-11.90)
Speak to patients with unnecessary out-of-hours contacts 9 (18.8) 13 (25.5) 1.29 (0.21-7.86)
Practice organisation    
Practice type: solo practice 32 (65.3) 27 (52.9) 0.95 (0.19-4.85)
Practice size (number of pts)    
 Mean (range) 2459 (464–4103) 2511 (1295–4556) 1.00 (1.00-1.00)
Training in telephone triage for assistantsb 8 (16.7) 18 (35.3) 1.87 (0.39-8.98)
Number of contacts (per pt)c    
 Mean (range) 4.4 (1.7-10.7) 5.2 (2.3-8.4) 1.44 (0.85-2.44)
Number of diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures (per 1000 pts)d    
 Mean (range) 74.4 (5.1-304.8) 119.6 (4.4-935.4) 1.02 (1.01-1.04)**
Presence of professionals (half days a week, per 1000 pts)
GPs
 Mean (range) 4.1 (2.1-8.8) 4.2 (1.9-10.5) 1.34 (0.66-2.75)
Assistantsb    
 Mean (range) 4.9 (2.1-14.4) 5.5 (2.7-11.0) 1.71 (1.07-2.73)*
Nurse practitioners mental health    
 Mean (range) 0.2 (0.0-5.2) 0.3 (0.0-4.2) 4.61 (0.35-61.24)
Nurse practitioners somatics    
 Mean (range) 1.1 (0.0-5.2) 1.6 (0.0-4.7) 2.07 (0.99-4.32)
Physicians in training    
 Mean (range) 0.5 (0.0-3.1) 0.5 (0.0-3.9) 0.94 (0.38-2.40)
  1. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001.
  2. aOdds ratios adjusted for: 1) geographical distance from the general practice to the GP cooperative, 2) percentage of patients aged 0 to 4 years, and 3) percentage of foreigners.
  3. bAssistants in Dutch general practices have administrative tasks, provide patient information, perform (telephone) triage and perform simple medical procedures (such as suturing, bandaging, giving injections, providing first aid and monitoring diabetic patients).
  4. cSum of telephone contacts, practice consultations, and home visits.
  5. dSum of six medical procedures, i.e. spirometry, electrocardiography, Doppler test, taping, intrauterine spiral, surgery.