General practice activity in Australia 2015-16. General
practice series no. 40
Britt H, Miller GC, Henderson J, Bayram C, Harrison C, Valenti L, Pan Y, Charles J, Pollack AJ, Wong C, Gordon J.
Sydney University Press
This book provides a summary of results from the 18th year of the University of Sydney’s BEACH program, a continuous national study of general practice activity in Australia. The BEACH program closed in 2016, after 18 years of continuous data collection.
From April 2015 to March 2016, 965 general practitioners (GPs) recorded details of 96,500 GP–patient encounters, at which patients presented 149,084 reasons for encounter and 150,279 problems were managed. For an ‘average’ 100 problems managed, GPs recorded 66 medications (including 53 prescribed, 6 supplied to the patient and 7 advised for over-the-counter purchase), 11 procedures, 25 clinical treatments (advice and counselling), 6 referrals to specialists and 4 to allied health services, 31 orders for pathology tests and 7 for imaging tests.
A subsample study of measured risk factors in more than 31,000 patients suggests that in the adult (18 years and over) population who attended general practice at least once in 2014–15 the prevalence of obesity was 28%, overweight was 34%, daily smoking was 16%, and at-risk alcohol consumption was 25%. One in four people in the attending population had at least two of these risk factors.
This book also contains a feature chapter examining changes in the care of ‘middle-aged’ people (aged between 45 and 64 years) in general practice over 16 years 2000–01 to 2015–16.
A companion publication, A decade of Australian general practice activity 2006–07 to 2015–16 is also available.