Primary care features that affect unscheduled secondary care use

Added July 28, 2020

Citation: Huntley A, Lasserson D, Wye L, et al. Which features of primary care affect unscheduled secondary care use? A systematic review. BMJ open. 2014 May 1;4(5):e004746.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare services. Existing research on features of primary care that influence unscheduled secondary care use might provide useful information to policy makers.

In this systematic review, the author searched for observational studies about factors and interventions in primary care that impact on unscheduled secondary care visits. They did not restrict their search by language of publication but limited to studies published between 2000 and October 2012. They included 48 studies.

What was found: Patient factors associated with emergency department visits and emergency admissions were increased age, reduced socioeconomic status, lower educational attainment, chronic disease and multimorbidity.

Being able to see the same healthcare professional in primary care reduced unscheduled secondary care.

Generally, better access to primary care was associated with reduced unscheduled secondary care in the USA.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.