General practitioner attitudes to case conferences: How can we increase participation and effectiveness?

GK Mitchell*, Inge C de Jong, CB Del Mar, Alexandra M Clavarino, Rosemary Kennedy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To identify general practitioners' views on the barriers to using case conferencing (as outlined in the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) Enhanced Primary Care package) and to develop a set of principles to encourage greater GP participation in case conferences.

Design: Qualitative study, involving semistructured questions administered to focus groups of GPs, conducted between April and July 2001 as part of a broader study of case coordination in palliative care.

Participants: 29 GPs from urban, regional, and rural areas of Queensland.

Principal findings: Many of the GPs' work practices militated against participation in traditionally structured case conferences. GPs thought the range of MBS item numbers should be expanded to cover alternative methods of liaison (eg, phone consultations with other service providers). The onerous bureaucratic processes required to claim reimbursement were an additional disincentive.

Conclusions: GPs would probably be more likely to participate in case conferences if they were initiated by specialist services and arranged more flexibly to suit GP work schedules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-97
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


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