What is it about?

Young people (12–24 years) visit general practice but may not have a ‘regular’ general practitioner (GP). This study was a cross-sectional survey administered either online or face-to-face in community settings. Young people living in NSW were recruited, with oversampling of those from five socio-culturally marginalised groups (those who were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, homeless, of refugee background, in rural or remote locations, sexuality and/or gender diverse). Young people completed the survey between 2016 and 2017 (n=1,416). Of these, 81.1% had seen a GP in the previous 6 months and 57.8% had a regular GP. Cost was the most frequently cited barrier (45.8%) to accessing health care generally. Those with a regular GP were less likely to cite cost and other structural barriers, feeling judged, and not knowing which service to go to. Having a regular GP was associated with having more positive attitudes to health system navigation.

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Why is it important?

General practice is the appropriate setting for preventive health care and care coordination. Having a regular GP is associated with fewer barriers and more positive attitudes to health system navigation and may provide better engagement with and coordination of care. Strategies are needed to increase the proportion of young people who have a regular GP.

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This page is a summary of: The relationship between having a regular general practitioner (GP) and the experience of healthcare barriers: a cross-sectional study among young people in NSW, Australia, with oversampling from marginalised groups, BMC Family Practice, October 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s12875-020-01294-8.
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