Do Academic Family Practices Reflect Routine Primary Care?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2014.0354-0359

Eine methodische Annäherung

german translation / full article

Birgitta Weltermann, Stefan Gesenhues, Anika Thielmann

Keywords: Teaching Practices Research Networking Routine Care Family Medicine Convenience Sampling Standardization

A Methodological Approach

Background: Participation rates in family medicine research projects differ depending on the sampling method: rates of 40–60 % are described in teaching practices, while only 3–4 % when drawing random samples. It is therefore important to know if study results obtained in teaching practices can be generalized to routine care.

Methods: We used data from an online survey on vaccination management to perform a standardized, weighted analysis of the results. Data from a random sample and a convenience sample of teaching practices were compared using two reference populations (all family medicine physicians from the same region North-Rhine Westphalia and nationwide). Participants who completed the questionnaire were included for analysis.

Results: The participation rates are 60 % (n = 127) among the teaching practices and 13 % (n = 120) in the random sample. In comparison to the study populations, there were more female physicians and fewer group practices in the reference populations. A comprehensive vaccine spectrum is offered by 13 % of participating teaching (n = 83) practices and 11 % of random sample physicians (n = 89). Weighting this result for gender, we calculate a prevalence of 12 % for the standard populations. When weighting according to practice type (solo/group practice) the results were 14 % for the teaching practices and 10 % for the random sample.

Conclusions: This standardization method allows a study-specific analysis if results from teaching practices can be generalized to routine care. Applying this method to our online-survey on vaccination management the data suggests this strongly.

(State: 13.05.2015)

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