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Utilization of the Family Practitioners by Turkish and German Patients – a Qualitative Study

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2011.0515

german translation / full article

Stefanie Joos, Iris Natanzon, Jessica Bungartz, Sema Uslu

Keywords: Immigrant Patients Turkish Background Family Practitioner Utilization Focus Group

Introduction: In Germany about 16 million people have a migration background. With around 2,5 million persons (16%), people with a Turkish background constitute the largest group among the immigrants. So far there exits only sparse and sometimes contradictory information about the utilization behaviour of these patient groups regarding family practitioners.

Methods: In a qualitative research approach, five focus group discussions divided into German (n=11) and Turkish (n=17) participants were performed. The interview language was German. We conducted a content analysis according to Mayring, software supported by ATLAS.ti.

Results: The main categories found were „use of family practitioner“, „factors for family practitioner’s choice“ and „interaction between doctor and patient“. Overall, there were more similarities than differences in the utilization behaviour between German and Turkish participants. Only 2 of the 17 Turkish participants visited a family doctor with similar migration background. Communication was classified as very important for a good doctor-patient relationship and for overcoming cultural differences in the interaction. Prejudiced and exclusionary behaviour on the part of the family practitioner was reported by one Turkish participant only. Overall, the Turkish participants drew a positive picture of their interaction with German family practitioners.

Discussion: The main conclusion of the study is that linguistically competent participants with a Turkish migration background showed a very similar pattern of utilization of family practitioners compared to German participants. The impact of poor language skills on the utilization behaviour should be explored in future research.


(State: 15.12.2011)

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