Randomised controlled trial to compare GP-run orthopaedic clinics based in hospital outpatient departments and general practices

Baker, Richard; Sanderson-Mann, Jo; Longworth, Stephen; Cox, Rachel; Gillies, Clare
December 2005
British Journal of General Practice;Dec2005, Vol. 55 Issue 521, p912
Academic Journal
Background To reduce outpatient waiting times, a growing number of outpatient clinics for selected groups of patients are being provided by GPs with special interests (GPwSIs). Aim To determine whether there are differences in patient satisfaction or clinical outcome among patients attending orthopaedic clinics provided by GPwSIs in hospital or community settings. Design of study Randomised controlled trial. Setting Hospital outpatient departments or general practices. Method Three hundred and twenty-one patients with minor orthopaedic problems were referred by GPs to the orthopaedic surgery department of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust; 168 patients were randomised to care by GPwSIs in practices, and 153 were randomised to care by the same GPwSIs in clinics held at hospital outpatient departments. Patients completed the SF-36v2 and satisfaction questionnaires at their first appointment, and again 3 months later. Results There was no significant difference between the sites in changes in health. After the first clinic attendance, patients attending practice-based clinics were more satisfied with access to appointments and information received. Conclusion For selected orthopaedic referrals seen by GpwSIs, there were no significant differences in clinical outcomes between practice-based and hospital-based clinics, but some features of practice-based clinics tend to be preferred by patients.


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