Reasons for encounter and diagnosis in patients seen in Limpopo Province primary health care : a prospective cross-sectional survey

Omozuanvbo, Ikpefan Ewan (2010-12)

Thesis (MFamMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Introduction Since 1994 the South African health care system has been undergoing considerable transformation as new health challenges emerges locally and globally. Limpopo and Mopani primary healthcare in particular is not an exception. The information on the reasons for encounter and diagnosis in primary care will create an opportunity to focus on proper planning for the delivery of quality health care that is relevant to the people, socially justifiable and cost effective. The study aimed to determine the range and prevalence of reasons for encounter and diagnoses found among patients attending primary care facilities in Limpopo. Methods Design: A prospective cross-sectional survey Setting: Primary health care centers, clinics and mobile clinics in Mopani district of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Selection of facilities, primary care providers and patients: Patient encounters were obtained from twenty-nine randomnly selected primary care facilities by trained primary care practitioners with data collection sheets. Data collection: The data collection days were spread across all days of the week and across the whole period from July 2009 to March 2010. Analysis: The international classification of primary care (ICPC-2) was used to code and analyse the data. Results A total of 6,666 patient encounters were recorded. Females 4598 (69%), accounted for more than two thirds of all contacts and children aged 0-4 years were the largest age group. Overall the commonest reasons for encounter were cough (13.0%), repeat family planning (8.4%) and headaches (5.7%). The commonest diagnoses were cough/upper respiratory tract infection (16.9%), hypertension (5.7%) and HIV/AIDS (2.6%). The top 20 reasons for encounter (RFE) and diagnoses are presented for all patients, men and women as well as children < 5 years. Conclusion Primary care nurse practitioners, clinical associates and general medical practitioners need to be competent to assess and manage the common RFE and diagnoses in order to deliver comprehensive health care at the primary level.

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