Long-term attendance at a family practice teaching unit. Qualitative study of patients' views

Can Fam Physician. 1997 May:43:901-6.


Objective: To identify the factors that contribute to patients' long-term attendance at a family practice teaching unit.

Design: Qualitative method of focus groups.

Setting: A community-based family practice teaching unit in southwestern Ontario.

Participants: Patients who had been coming to St Joseph's Family Medical Centre for more than 15 years were purposefully selected to participate.

Method: Five focus groups composed of patients who had been affiliated with one of the three practices at the Centre for more than 15 years explored factors contributing to long-term attendance.

Main findings: Four key themes were identified as the primary factors contributing to long-term attendance: the relationship context, the team concept, professional responsibility and attitudes, and comprehensive and convenient care.

Conclusion: The resource-rich era of medical care, during which participants formulated their views and opinions about the factors contributing to their long-term attendance at a family practice teaching unit, has come to a close. The findings of this study provide important information that could help maintain one of the basic tenets of family medicine-continuity of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / standards
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Professional Competence
  • Time Factors