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Why do women consult doctors? Social factors and the use of the general practitioner.
  1. S A Beresford,
  2. J J Waller,
  3. M H Banks,
  4. C J Wale

    Abstract

    This study was designed to investigate personal and social factors associated with demand for care by women aged between 20 and 44 years, a group unlikely to suffer from chronic illness. A random sample of women was drawn from the age-sex register of a south London group practice, and information was obtained concerning their daily symptom perception, anxiety level, social and health characteristics, and their consultations for one year. Social class, family involvement, number of children in household, satisfaction with the housing, and use of other health and social services were not associated with demand for general practitioner care. Absence of basic housing amenities, difficulties in running the household, brevity of stay in the house or neighbourhood, and lack of attachment of the neighbourhood were related to a high patient-initiated consultation rate. Some of the possible interpretations of these results are discussed together with their implications for social policy planning.

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