Barriers to good sickness certification: an interview study with Swedish general practitioners
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 36, no 4, 408-414 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: To date, there is no gold standard for sick-listing practices, and physicians find sickness certification problematic. Measures have been taken to improve physician's sick-listing practices, but with ambiguous results. To be able to make such interventions effective, it is important to identify and target barriers to good practices. Our aim was to identify barriers preventing general practitioners (GPs) from sick-listing in the way they think is best. METHODS: Semi-structured individual interviews were carried out with 19 GPs in 17 primary healthcare centres in four central Swedish counties. Interview transcripts were analysed using qualitative content analysis to identify types of barriers to good sick-listing practices. RESULTS: Barriers within the healthcare system included: complexity of clinical judgements; the physician's competence - especially, poor skills in handling situations regarding conflicting perceptions of the need for sickness certification; the performance of other healthcare professionals; and deficiencies in the healthcare system itself. Barriers outside the healthcare system included: general attitudes to sick-listing and benefits; the labour-market situation; patients' social problems; and the performance of and collaboration with other stakeholders. CONCLUSIONS: GPs experienced a number of barriers to what they perceived to be good sick-listing practice. Such barriers need to be addressed in interventions for change. We propose communication skills training, with a special emphasis on difficult situations in sick-listing practice.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 36, no 4, 408-414 p.
barriers, general practice, physician's practice patterns, primary healthcare, qualitative content analysis, sick-leave, sick-listing; sickness certification
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97291DOI: 10.1177/1403494808090903ISI: 000257536300010PubMedID: 18539695OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97291DiVA: diva2:172159