W. de Ruijter
D.J.A. van Dijk - van Dijk
G.M. van der Weele
- GPs' perspectives on preventive care for older people: a focus group study
- British Journal of General Practice
- Volume | Issue number
- 62 | 604
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Preventive care traditionally aims to prevent diseases or injuries. For older people, different aims of prevention, such as maintenance of independence and wellbeing, are increasingly important.
To explore GPs' perspectives on preventive care for older people.
Design and setting:
Qualitative study comprising six focus groups with GPs in the Netherlands.
The focus-group discussions with 37 GPs were analysed using the framework analysis method.
Whether or not to implement preventive care for older people depends on the patient's individual level of vitality, as perceived by the GP. For older people with a high level of vitality, GPs confine their role to standardised disease-oriented prevention on a patient's request; when the vitality levels in older people fall, the scope of preventive care shifts from prevention of disease to prevention of functional decline. For older, vulnerable people, GPs expect most benefit from a proactive, individualised approach, enabling them to live as independently as possible. Based on these perspectives, a conceptual model for preventive care was developed, which describes GPs' different perspectives toward older people who are vulnerable and those with high levels of vitality. It focuses on five main dimensions: aim of care (prevention of disease versus prevention of functional decline), concept of care (disease model versus functional model), initiator (older persons themselves versus GP), target groups (people with requests versus specified risk groups), and content of preventive care (mainly cardiovascular risk management versus functional decline).
GPs' perspectives on preventive care are determined by their perception of the level of vitality of their older patients. Preventive care for older people with high levels of vitality may consist of a standardised disease-oriented approach; those who are vulnerable will need an individualised approach to prevent functional decline.
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