Patients' views on chronic illness and its care in general practice

Tim Shortus*, Vanessa Rose, Elizabeth Comino, Nicholas Zwar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: General practitioners have described barriers to the uptake of incentives such as the Enhanced Primary Care items introduced to support care of chronic illness. However patients' attitudes toward chronic illness and planned care are not known. Methods: A qualitative study of adult patients with chronic illnesses using semi-structured interviews and a focus group, examining their experience of chronic illness and their attitudes toward health care. Results: Sixteen patients were interviewed; five participated in the focus group. Patients believed that their illnesses were permanent and progressive, and that GPs had little influence over their prognosis. They preferred to access GPs for acute problems rather than anticipatory care, and most could not see a need for care planning. Discussion: Patient preferences for care delivery may be in conflict with the current reform agenda focussing on anticipatory care provision. Efforts to reform chronic illness care may falter unless this is addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-399
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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