Research suggests that older patients may be reluctant to engage
general practice registrars (GPRs) in their care. The authors
undertook a qualitative study of the attitudes of older patients to GPRs
to investigate this issue.
Thirty-eight patients aged 60 years and over from three training
practices participated in semistructured telephone interviews, which
explored patients responses to GPRs. The interviews were recorded,
transcribed and analysed using a template analysis approach.
Analysis of the interviews produced five major themes concerning
patient attitudes to GPRs: desire for continuity, desire for access,
openness, trust and a desire for meaningful communication.
Older patients attitudes to GPRs cannot be viewed in isolation from
their relationship with their usual general practitioner, and this needs
to be taken into account when engaging GPRs in the care of older
patients. Systems need to be developed to maintain relational and
informational continuity with older patients' regular GPs.