Publication Details

Bonney, AD, Jones, SC, Phillipson, L & Iverson, DC 2010. General practice registrars: attitudes of older patients, Australian Family Physician, 39(6), 2010, 419-424.


Previous research indicates that older patients may be less willing to consult general practice registrars (GPRs), reducing training opportunities in chronic/complex care. This survey explores older patients’ attitudes in order to inform models of interaction that would be acceptable to patients. METHODS Ten training general practices distributed questionnaires for self completion to 50 patients aged 60 years and over. Chi-square, Spearman’s rho and logistic regression were used for analysis. RESULTS The response rate was 47%. Ninetysix percent wanted ongoing contact with their general practitioner if they saw a GPR. Twenty-four percent were comfortable with GPR chronic/complex care, increasing to 73% when there was contact with their usual GP during the consultation. DISCUSSION This study quantifies a widespread reluctance among older patients to GPRs managing chronic/complex conditions, which could be significantly improved by maintaining a relational link with their regular GP. These results give guidance for training practices and warrant further investigation.