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Table 6 Physically reaching the general practice

From: What matters to people with chronic conditions when accessing care in Australian general practice? A qualitative study of patient, carer, and provider perspectives

Topic Themes and examples
How patients cope with reduced mobility and other disabilities Reduced mobility due to disability
Q1 “Sometimes just getting up and making a meal is difficult to do. It’s painful and also difficult. You feel like you’re carrying sacks of potatoes on your shoulders, so mobility is an issue. My mobility is around fatigue-ability. I plan my appointments around other needs that I have throughout the week. So, sometimes that has impacted whether I can see him or not […]” (Patient 1 CES)
Q2 “[Husband] can’t get there unless I take him, because he’s in a wheelchair. So, I have to be available to take him […] Sometimes my husband, because he’s in bed, and he’s sick, I can’t get him dressed, and get him into his chair, and get him to the doctor’s. It’s not feasible. […] This is a sick man. He’s 70. He’s got progressive incurable disease. I can’t get him to the doctor. I can’t just snap my fingers and produce him there.” (Carer 4 SWS)
Access to transport and accompaniment
Q3 “Usually, I know that I will be back in two weeks’ time so I can make the appointment then or come home and get the appointment after checking with one of my children or person that can drive me to the place.” (Patient 4 CES)
Q4 “When they do come in to see me it definitely aids their attendance if someone accompanies them. So, whether it’s a family member or a case worker, either of the mental health service or from a support organization – there’s these mental health organizations that offer volunteers. Case support officers.” (GP 2 CES)
How providers and practice accommodate patient mobility needs Providing alternative modes of service delivery
Q5 “The other thing that I really value about my GP is that she also does home visits. If I’m having a particularly bad time with my rheumatoid, for example my mobility’s limited, she will come and do a home visit so that I don’t have to get to her […] I do know that I’ve got that as a backup if need be.” (Patient 5 CES)
Q6 “we do home visits. We do clinics over the phone. We make sure that patients can access all of the services that they need to for their own sort of healthcare condition.” (Practice nurse 7 SWS)