Essential components of health assessment for older people in primary care: a cross-sectional survey of Australian general practitioners
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Objective: To examine general practitioners’ views about how health assessments for older people should be conducted. Methods: General practitioners were randomly sampled from a national database of medical practitioners and invited to complete a survey. Survey items explored general practitioners’ views about essential components of a 75+ Health Assessment and who should assess each component, consultation time, use of standardised templates and tools, and home visits. Results: Overall, 185 (19.2%) general practitioners participated. Of 61 items presented, 24 were rated ‘essential’ by ≥70% of practitioners, with an average estimated consultation time of 65 minutes. Of the 24 essential items, it was perceived that 21 could be assessed by either a general practitioner or clinic nurse. Most practitioners indicated a standardised template (86%) and standardised tools for complex issues (79%) should be used, and home visits conducted (75%). Conclusions: General practitioners agreed on 24 items as essential for every health assessment, with assessments estimated to take more than one hour. Implications for public health: Increases to remuneration for prolonged assessments or mechanisms for improving efficiency and quality of assessments are needed. Acceptable mechanisms may include standardised patient-reported tools, standardised templates and the use of non-medical staff to assist with assessments.
Open Access Status
This publication may be available as open access
National Health and Medical Research Council