In this section, we will provide a brief summary and a link to the published abstract of newly published papers selected from the worldwide literature as being of particular interest to the SelfCare community.
What do we know about demand, use and outcomes in primary care out-of-hours services? A systematic scoping review of international literature.
By: Foster H, Moffat KR, Burns N, Gannon M, Macdonald S, O’donnell CA.
BMJ Open 2020 Jan 19;10(1):e033481. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033481.
Summary: This report was done to synthesise international evidence for demand, use and outcomes of primary care out-of-hours health services (OOHS). Results include 105 studies: 54% from mainland Europe/Republic of Ireland; 37% from UK. Most focused on general practitioner-led out-of-hours cooperatives. Evidence for increasing patient demand over time was weak due to data heterogeneity, infrequent reporting of population denominators and little adjustment for population socio-demographics. There was consistent evidence of higher OOHS use in the evening compared with overnight, at weekends and by certain groups (children aged <5, adults aged >65, women, those from socioeconomically deprived areas, with chronic diseases or mental health problems). Contact with OOHS was driven by problems perceived as urgent by patients. Respiratory, musculoskeletal, skin and abdominal symptoms were the most common reasons for contact in adults; fever and gastrointestinal symptoms were the most common in the under-5s.