Evaluation of the GP Super Clinics Program 2007-2008

6.1.2 Patients

Page last updated: 2012

Patient Survey

Of the 1050 individuals invited to participate in the study, 710 provided data, with numbers per GP Super Clinic ranging from 9 to 146.

Table 3 provides socio-demographic characteristics of the sample. Almost two-thirds of the patients were female, and approximately half were aged 45 years or over, with 17% aged 65 or over. Fifty-nine percent were married or in a de facto relationship, and only 4% of the sample were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. While 84% of the sample were born in Australia, 11% spoke a language other than English.

These data were compared to GP encounters with Bettering the Evaluation And Care of Health (BEACH) data. Relative to the population of general practice patients from BEACH data, the GP Super Clinics’ patient sample had a slightly higher proportion of females, were younger, and had a higher proportion of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islanders.26

Table 3: Demographic Characteristics of Patient Participants in Survey

Patient CharacteristicPatient Survey Data
NumberProportion of Sample (%)
Gender
Male25336
Female45764
Age Group
18-247310
25-3413419
35-4414120
45-5414020
55-649513
65-74679
75+608
Relationship Status*
Never married14921
Widowed426
Divorced588
Separated385
Married (registered and de facto) 41759
Other Characteristics
Aboriginal person314
Non-English speaking background7411
Born in Australia59384

* Data missing for 6 observations

Table 4 provides an overview of the employment status and health insurance characteristics of the patients who completed the survey in this evaluation.

Table 4: Employment and Health Insurance Characteristics of Patient Participants in Survey

Patient CharacteristicPatient Survey Data
NumberProportion of Sample (%)
Employment Status
Employed full-time27338
Employed part-time15822
Unemployed7811
Not in the labour force20128
Health Insurance Characteristics
Health Care, Veterans Affairs or Pensioner Concession Card17224
Private health insurance14821
No insurance or card38955
Sixty percent of patients were in either full- or part-time employment. Over half of patients (55%) did not have either private insurance or a health concession card (Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Veterans Affairs Card).

An overview of the characteristics of patients completing the survey in relation to attendances at the GP Super Clinic is provided in Table 5.

Table 5: Overview of GP Super Clinics Attendances of Patient Participants in Survey

Patient CharacteristicPatient Survey Data
NumberProportion of Sample (%)
Attendances
Usual GP Practice64591
Changed from another practice34352
See GPs at another practice16223
Expecting to see usual doctor46067
Clinicians other than GP seen in last year at GP Super Clinic
Seen Nurse 34450
Seen Allied health clinician 18827
Seen medical specialist365
Frequency of Attending GP in Last Year*
1 time436
2-3 times16624
4-5 times15923
6-7 times11316
8-9 times457
More than 10 times16524
Main Reason for Attending GP Super Clinics
New problem16424
Existing or chronic problem22132
Work related problem183
Treatment/procedure172
Medication problem or prescription8312
Get results8612
General check up406
Referral132
Vaccination71
Other426

* Contains Missing data

Six hundred and forty-five patients (91%) considered the GP Super Clinics as their usual GP practices. Of all patients who participated in the survey, 343 (52%) reported that they changed practice to attend the GP Super Clinics. Two-thirds of patients (67%) indicated that they were expecting to see their usual doctors at the visit. In relation to the other clinicians that patients had seen at the GP Super Clinics in the last twelve months, 50% had seen nurses, 27% had seen allied health clinicians and 5% had seen medical specialists.

Nearly one quarter (24%) of all patients reported attending the GP Super Clinics more than 10 times in the last twelve months. Twenty-four percent of patients were attending the GP Super Clinics on the day of survey completion for new problems, with 32% attending for existing or chronic problems.

Patient Interviews

Twenty-four patients at the seven GP Super Clinics consented to participate in the semi-structured interviews. Of those patients interviewed, 75% were female, with age range from 25 to 78 years, and all but one patient had visited the GP Super Clinics a number of times.

26Britt H, Miller GC, Charles J, et al. General Practice Activity in Australia 2008-2009. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2009. General Practice Series no. 25.