[Psychosocial aspects associated with excessive attendance in primary care paediatric clinics]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2019 Jan;90(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2018.03.008.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: Hyper-attendance is a significant problem in paediatric Primary Care clinics. The aim of our study was to analyse the level of attendance in these clinics and its relationship with certain psychosocial aspects of the families attending them.

Patients and methods: Observational descriptive study was conducted using questionnaires collected during a period of 6months, as well as recording the frequency of attendance in the previous 6months. A total of 346 questionnaires of children between 6months and 13years of age belonging to 2 urban Primary Care clinics in Madrid were completed. The raw data was analysed, and comparisons between groups and multivariate analysis were performed.

Results: The mean number of consultations in the last 6months, of the total included in the study, was 3.06 in the Primary Care centre, and 0.77 in the emergency services. It was considered over-frequent for those who had attended the Primary Care health centre 6 or more times in this period (>p90), of which there were 33 children (9.53%). In the multivariate analysis, the variables related to being frequent users of Primary Care clinics were: the presence of high level of anxiety in the parents (OR=5.50; 95%CI: 2.49-12.17, P<.0001), and the age of the children (OR=0.73; 95%CI: 0.58-0.91, P=.005). The model presented an area under the curve of 0.761 (95%CI: 0.678-0.945, P<.0001).

Conclusions: The frequency of visits in paediatric Primary Care clinics is directly related to the high level of anxiety of the parents, and inversely to the age of the children. It would be advisable to detect and, if possible, intervene in cases of high parental anxiety in order to try to reduce the over-frequency in the paediatric primary health care.

Keywords: Atención primaria; Factores psicosociales; Frequent attendance; Hiperfrecuentación; Primary care; psychosocial factors.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medical Overuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary Health Care