AB362        MEASURES OF PATIENT HEALTH BEHAVIOUR IN GENERAL PRACTICE IN AUSTRALIA

Author(s): 
Britt H, Sayer GP, Horn F, Bhasale A, McGeechan K, Charles J, Miller GC
Family Research Centre, WESTMEAD, AUSTRALIA
Text: 
Introduction:
This paper reports the results of the first year of SAND (Supplementary Analysis of Nominated Data). SAND is a sub-sampling methodology of the BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation And Care of Health) program, a continuous national study of general practice activity in Australia in which details of 100,000 encounters are recorded by a random sample of 1,000 GPs per year.
Aim: To examine aspects of patient health and health care delivery through data collected in parallel to the BEACH GP patient encounter information. In the first year patient population subjects investigated in SAND included patient body mass, smoking and alcohol use. Other subjects covered patient well-being, prevalence of disease, for example hypertension, upper gastrointestinal conditions, musculoskeletal problems, hepatitis; severity of illness; co-morbidity; immunisation; mammography.
Method: At the end of each of a nominated number of consultations a sub-sample of BEACH participating GPs asked the patient questions about their smoking status (N=30,265), or about alcohol intake (N=29,230) and their height and weight (N=30,485). Data were secondarily coded with the BEACH encounter data for each patient.
Results: About half the doctor-patient encounters were with overweight or obese patients; half the consultations were with patients who drank excessive levels of alcohol, and almost 1 in 5 were with adults who smoked tobacco daily.
Conclusion:
This study demonstrated high levels of health risk behaviour in general practice patients and demonstrated that patient population data can be successfully collected in parallel to active paper based encounter data collection by GPs in Australia.