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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Family Practice 1/2014

Understanding “revolving door” patients in general practice: a qualitative study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Family Practice > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Andrea E Williamson, Kenneth Mullen, Philip Wilson
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2296-15-33) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

AEW conceived the study design with supervision from PW and KM and conducted the interviews. Analysis was carried out by AEW and KM and PW reviewed the coding development. AEW drafted the manuscript with input from KM and PW. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

‘Revolving door’ patients in general practice are repeatedly removed from general practitioners’ (GP) lists. This paper reports a qualitative portion of the first mixed methods study of these marginalised patients.

Methods

We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with six practitioner services staff and six GPs in Scotland, utilizing Charmazian grounded theory to characterise ‘revolving door’ patients and their impact from professionals’ perspectives.

Results

‘Revolving door’ patients were reported as having three necessary characteristics; they had unreasonable expectations, exhibited inappropriate behaviours and had unmet health needs. A range of boundary breaches were reported too when ‘revolving door’ patients interacted with NHS staff.

Conclusions

We utilise the ‘sensitising concepts’ of legitimacy by drawing on literature about ‘good and bad’ patients and ‘dirty work designations.’ We relate these to the core work of general practice and explore the role that medical and moral schemas have in how health service professionals understand and work with ‘revolving door’ patients. We suggest this may have wider relevance for the problem doctor patient relationship literature.
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