Objectives: To provide estimates of the prevalence of chronic conditions in Swiss primary care.
Methods: In total, 175 general practitioners (GP) or pediatricians (PED) reporting to the Swiss Sentinel Surveillance Network collected morbidity data.
Results: In 26,853 patient contacts, mean (± SD) age was 55.8 ± 21.6 or 6.1 ± 5.7 years (in GPs vs. PEDs, respectively) and 47% were males. In GP patients, median Thurgau Morbidity Index was 2 (IQR 1-3). The median numbers of chronic conditions and permanently used prescribed drugs were 2 (0-5) and 2 (1-4), respectively; in PEDs medians were 0. Out of all patients, 16.7 and 7.0% of the PED patients were hospitalized during the previous year; patients cared by family/proxies or community nurses were hospitalized significantly more often than patients living in homes (50.1 vs. 35.4%, OR 1.41, p < 0.001). Out of patients over 80 years of age, 51.5% were care dependent and 45.5% of the patients over 90 years were living in homes for the elderly.
Conclusions: In a representative sample of Swiss primary care patients, a substantial part shows multimorbidity with a high prevalence of chronic diseases, multiple drug treatment, and care dependency. These data may serve to be compared with other patient groups or other primary care systems. Trial registration www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT0229537, national study registry www.kofam.ch SNCTP000001207.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02295371.
Keywords: Care dependency; Drug treatment; Hospitalization; Morbidity; Primary health care; Switzerland.