Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
McMahon, J. D.,Macfarlane, A.,Avalos, G. E.,Cantillon, P.,Murphy, A. W.
2007
May
Irish Medical Journal
A survey of asylum seekers' general practice service utilisation and morbidity patterns
Published
()
Optional Fields
100
55
461
4
To compare Irish asylum seekers to other General Medical Scheme (GMS) patients possessing Irish citizenship in terms of their utilisation of GP services, morbidity patterns and consultation outcomes. A retrospective 1 year study on patient records in two Galway City practices was performed. All asylum seekers who were patients of the two practices were compared with two controls each from a population of GMS patients with Irish citizenship matched for age, sex, and GMS status. Demographic information was recorded. For each consultation over the 12 months the diagnosis using the ICPC coding system' and consultation outcomes were recorded. Data was collected on 171 asylum seekers and 342 Irish citizens. The majority of asylum seekers registered in the two practices were from Nigeria (43.9%). The age of cases ranged from 1 month to 60 years of age with a median of 26. 45.8% were female and 54% male. The mean number of visits per asylum seeker per year was 5.16 (SD 3.12) whereas the mean for Irish Citizens was 2.31 (SD 2.33) (p = 0.0001). Asylum seekers had a significantly higher likelihood of being assigned diagnoses in the disease systems of psychiatry, dermatology, neurology, muscuioskeletal disease, urology, respiratory, ENT, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and gastroenterology. Asylum seekers were five times more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric illness than Irish citizens. Specifically they had a significantly higher chance of being diagnosed with anxiety (odds ratio = 3.17 [95% CI 1.1,8.68]). Overall, the frequency of prescription as a consultation outcome was higher for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers were prescribed more antibiotics and psychiatric medications but Irish GMS had higher prescription rates for drugs outside of these categories. Referral rates were higher in the asylum seeker group. Asylum seekers attended the GP more frequently than their Irish counterparts. They were more likely to be diagnosed with psychological problems than the Irish. Studies have shown a strong link between psychological illness and being a "frequent attender" in general practice. This could explain the higher than average frequency of attendance in this group. They were more likely to be prescribed antibiotics and psychiatric medications. This study provides the first quantitative data to inform debate regarding the appropriate supply of resources to Irish practices with significant numbers of asylum seekers.To compare Irish asylum seekers to other General Medical Scheme (GMS) patients possessing Irish citizenship in terms of their utilisation of GP services, morbidity patterns and consultation outcomes. A retrospective 1 year study on patient records in two Galway City practices was performed. All asylum seekers who were patients of the two practices were compared with two controls each from a population of GMS patients with Irish citizenship matched for age, sex, and GMS status. Demographic information was recorded. For each consultation over the 12 months the diagnosis using the ICPC coding system' and consultation outcomes were recorded. Data was collected on 171 asylum seekers and 342 Irish citizens. The majority of asylum seekers registered in the two practices were from Nigeria (43.9%). The age of cases ranged from 1 month to 60 years of age with a median of 26. 45.8% were female and 54% male. The mean number of visits per asylum seeker per year was 5.16 (SD 3.12) whereas the mean for Irish Citizens was 2.31 (SD 2.33) (p = 0.0001). Asylum seekers had a significantly higher likelihood of being assigned diagnoses in the disease systems of psychiatry, dermatology, neurology, muscuioskeletal disease, urology, respiratory, ENT, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and gastroenterology. Asylum seekers were five times more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric illness than Irish citizens. Specifically they had a significantly higher chance of being diagnosed with anxiety (odds ratio = 3.17 [95% CI 1.1,8.68]). Overall, the frequency of prescription as a consultation outcome was higher for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers were prescribed more antibiotics and psychiatric medications but Irish GMS had higher prescription rates for drugs outside of these categories. Referral rates were higher in the asylum seeker group. Asylum seekers attended the GP more frequently than their Irish counterparts. They were more likely to be diagnosed with psychological problems than the Irish. Studies have shown a strong link between psychological illness and being a "frequent attender" in general practice. This could explain the higher than average frequency of attendance in this group. They were more likely to be prescribed antibiotics and psychiatric medications. This study provides the first quantitative data to inform debate regarding the appropriate supply of resources to Irish practices with significant numbers of asylum seekers.
0332-3102 (Print)0332-31
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=17727121http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=17727121
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