Identifying Factors Leading to Harm in English General Practices
Ricci-Cabello, I; Gangannagaripalli, J; Mounce, LTA; et al.Valderas, JM
Date: 13 March 2020
Journal of Patient Safety
Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Objective The aim of the study was to identify the main factors leading to harm in primary care based on the experiences reported by patients. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study in 45 primary care centers in England. A random sample of 6736 patients was invited to complete the Patient-Reported Experiences ...
Objective The aim of the study was to identify the main factors leading to harm in primary care based on the experiences reported by patients. Methods We conducted a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study in 45 primary care centers in England. A random sample of 6736 patients was invited to complete the Patient-Reported Experiences and Outcomes of Safety in Primary Care questionnaire. We fitted structural equation modeling on the quantitative data (n = 1244 respondents) to identify contributory factors and primary incidents leading to harm. We conducted content analyses of responses to seven open-ended questions (n = 386) to obtain deeper insight into patient perceptions of the causes of harm experienced. Results from quantitative and qualitative analyses were triangulated. Results Patients reported harm related to physical health (13%), pain (11%), and mental health (19%) and harm that increased limitations in social activities (14%). Physical harm was associated with incidents affecting diagnosis (β = 0.43; delayed and wrong), and treatment (0.12; delayed, wrong treatment, or dose), which were in turn associated with incidents with patient-provider communication, coordination between providers, appointments, and laboratory tests. Pain was associated with laboratory tests (0.21; caused when collecting blood or tissue samples) and with problems booking an appointment when needed (0.13; delaying treatment for pain). Harm to mental health was associated with incidents related to the following: diagnosis (0.28), patient-provider communication (0.18), appointments (0.17), coordination between different providers (0.14), and laboratory tests (0.12). Harm increasing limitations in social activities was associated with incidents related to diagnosis (0.42) and diagnostic and monitoring procedures (0.20). Conclusions Our findings suggest the need for patient-centered strategies to reduce harm in primary care focusing on the improvement of the quality of diagnosis and patient-provider communication.
Institute of Health Research
College of Medicine and Health
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