Original Research

Patient consultations during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: a mixed-method cross-sectional study in 16 European countries

AUTHORS

name here
Ferdinando Petrazzuoli1
PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher *

name here
Ozden Gokdemir2
PhD, Associate Professor

name here
Maria Antonopoulou 3
PhD, MD and Head of the Primary Care Center

name here
Beata Blahova4
MD, PhD Candidate

name here
Natasa Mrduljaš-Đujić5
PhD, Adjunct Professor

name here
Gindrovel Dumitra6
Lecturer

name here
Rosario Falanga7
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Mercedes Ferreira 8
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Sandra Gintere9
PhD, General Practitioner

name here
Sehnaz Hatipoglu 10
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Jean-Pierre Jacquet11
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Kateřina Javorská12
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Ana Kareli 13
MD, General Practitioner

name here
András Mohos14
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Sody Naimer 15
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Victoria Tkachenko 16
PhD, DrSci in Med, Professor

name here
Angela Tomacinschii 17
MD, General Practitioner

name here
Jane Randall-Smith18
FRCGP(Hon), General Practitioner

name here
Donata Kurpas19
PhD, Professor

AFFILIATIONS

1 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Clinical Sciences, Centre for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

2 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Faculty of Medicine, Izmir University of Economics, Balçova, Izmir, Turkey

3 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Spili Primary Care Center, Regional Health System of Crete, Spili, Greece

4 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Public Health, Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia

5 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Family Medicine, University of Split, School of Medicine, Croatia

6 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); Department of Family Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Craiova, Romania

7 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Primary Care, Azienda Sanitaria Friuli Occidentale, Pordenone, Italy

8 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Primary Care, Cerdido, Area Sanitaria de Ferrol, Sergas, Spain

9 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Family Medicine, Medical Faculty, Rīga Stradiņš University, Dzirciema St. 16, Riga, LV-1007, Latvia

10 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Turkish Association of Family Physicians, Primary Care Center, Izmir, Turkey

11 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Collège de la Médecine Générale, France

12 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Czech GP Society, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

13 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Georgian Family Medicine Association, Tbilisi State Medical University, Tbilisi, Georgia

14 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

15 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Family Medicine, Siaal Family Medicine and Primary Care Research Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, BeerSheva, Israel

16 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Department of Family Medicine, Shupyk National Healthcare University of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

17 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and University Clinic of Primary Medical Assistance, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, N. Testemițanu”, the Republic of Moldova

18 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA)

19 European Rural and Isolated Practitioner Association (EURIPA); and Family Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

ACCEPTED: 5 August 2022

Ferdinando Petrazzuoli: Patient consultations during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic


early abstract:

Introduction: Remote consultations help reduce the level of contact between people and prevent cross-contamination. Little is known about the changes in consultation in European rural primary care during the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of our mixed method cross sectional study was to find out more about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on changes patient consultations have undergone in European rural primary care.
Methods: A key informant survey from sixteen member countries of the European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association was undertaken using a self developed questionnaire. The steering committee of this project, called 'EURIPA Covid-19 study', developed a semi structured questionnaire with 68 questions, 21 of these included free text comments. Proportions were calculated for dichotomized or categorized data, and means were calculated for continuous data. Multivariate analysis by logistic regression model was used to assess the association of multiple variables.
Results: 406 questionnaires from primary care informants in 16 European countries were collected; 245 respondents (60.5%) were females, 152 PC informants were rural (37.5%), 124 semi-rural (30.5%). Mean age of the respondents was 45.9 years (SD 11.30) while seniority (mean) was 18.2 years (SD 11.6).  381 (93.8 %) of the respondents were medical doctors. Significant differences were found between countries in adopting alternative arrangements to face-to-face consultation: remote teleconsultation is well appreciated by both healthcare professionals and patients, but the most common way of remote consultation remains telephone consultation. A factor significantly 'inversely' associated with the adoption of video consultation was the seniority of the primary care health care personnel, OR: 1.19, 95% CI (1.02-1.40) P=0.03.
Conclusion: Telephone consultation is the most common form of remote consultation. The adoption of video-consultation is inversely related to the seniority of the informants.