Title

A user assessment of the potential for shared medical appointments in Australia

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Stevens, JA, Cole, MA, Binns, A, Dixon, J & Egger, G 2014, 'A user assessment of the potential for shared medical appointments in Australia', Australian Family Physician, vol. 43, no. 11, pp. 804-807.

Published version available from: http://www.racgp.org.au/afp/2014/november/a-user-assessment-of-the-potential-for-shared-medical-appointments-in-australia/

Abstract

Background

In some countries, shared medical appointments (SMAs) have been shown to be more effective than single consultations for managing chronic diseases. Our study was designed as the first stage of a Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) funded project to assess potential patient and provider support for SMAs if they were to become available in Australia.

Methods

We conducted focus groups with healthcare providers and patients with diabetes in four large regional health centres in NSW. The data were analysed using rigorous qualitative processes.

Results

Healthcare provider participants appeared overwhelmingly in favour of SMAs, while patients were divided on the process. Where opposed, patients cited concerns about confidentiality and their satisfaction with the status quo.

Discussion

There appears to be a groundswell of interest in SMAs that warrants further investigation in the Australian healthcare system. Issues of reimbursement, homogeneity of groups and training need further consideration.