Perceived barriers to primary care among western Canadians with chronic conditions
Authors: Paul Ronksley, Claudia Sanmartin, David Campbell, Robert Weaver, G. M. Allan, Kerry McBrien, Marcello Tonelli, Braden Manns, Deirdre Hennessy, and Brenda Hemmelgarn
Background This analysis explores barriers to the receipt of health care from a primary care physician for management of chronic conditions. Data and methods A population-based survey was administered to adults in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia who had hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or stroke (n=1,849). Associations between socio-demographic factors and barriers to receipt of primary care were identified. Results Most respondents with chronic conditions required care from a primary care physician in the past year and had no difficulty receiving it; about 10% reported a barrier. Barriers were most commonly reported by respondents with diabetes (16%) and were related to initiation of care or waiting too long to get care. Interpretation A small percentage of adults with chronic conditions report barriers to receiving care from a primary care physician. findings About a third of Canadians have chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The care of patients with chronic conditions has become a major focus in health services research and public health policy, and the direct costs of managing these conditions exceed $40 billion a year. Even so, not all Canadians with chronic conditions receive the care they require.
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