Objective. To determine how often and for what health problems in children general practitioners (GPs) are consulted, and whether this is affected by age, gender, season, socioeconomic status and degree of urbanisation. Design. Descriptive. Setting. 103 general practices (161 GPs) in the Netherlands. Method. Data from 63,753 children (0-14 years of age) collected in the framework of the Dutch National Survey were used. A random sample of 161 GPs registered all contacts between patient and practice during 3 months. Sociodemographic characteristics of all practice populations were gathered. Health problems were coded according to the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC). Consultation frequency, morbidity presented, age and gender specific incidence rates were determined, as well as relative risks of presented morbidity relative to sociodemographic characteristics and season. Results. Children consulted a GP on average 2.8 times per year. Problems from the respiratory tract (upper respiratory tract infection, acute bronchitis, coughing and acute tonsillitis) and acute otitis media were presented most. The morbidity varied strongly with age. Children from low socioeconomic strata and children living in larger cities presented more problems (in particular respiratory and ear problems). Conclusion. The GP is confronted with a great diversity of health problems in children. The variation in consultation frequency and morbidity according to selected sociodemographic characteristics showed that presentation of information in more detail by age is necessary in order to obtain optimal insight.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1995|