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Table 2 Characteristics of respondents and practice of SPHC referralsa

From: Factors influencing GPs’ perception of specialised palliative homecare (SPHC) importance – results of a cross-sectional study

Characteristics Value  
Respondents - n 1026  
Age - years Mean ± SD 54.1 ± 9.4  
Gender - n (%)
 Male 502 (49.0)  
 Female 520 (50.8)  
Work experience in the outpatient sector - years Mean ± SD 20.2 ± 11.2  
Working hours/week - Mean ± SD 46.9 ± 12.4  
Practice type - n (%)
 Single-handed 510 (49.8)  
 Group practice 467 (45.6)  
 Medical care centre 47 (4.6)  
Employed - n (%)
 Yes 123 (12.0)  
 No 887 (86.6)  
Location of practice - n (%)
 Rural (≤ 5,000 inhabitants) 264 (25.8)  
 Small town (>  5,000–20,000 inhabitants) 290 (28.3)  
 Medium-sized town (> 20,000–100,000 inhabitants) 198 (19.3)  
 Big city (> 100,000 inhabitants) 264 (25.8)  
Number of patients/quarter - Mean ± SD 1130.3 ± 373.3  
Number of palliative patients/year - Mean ± SD 18.4 ± 26.8  
Number of home visits/week - Mean ± SD 15.3 ± 20.6  
Number of home visits/quarter within palliative patients - Mean ± SD 15.1 ± 25.5  
GPs’ attitude towards palliative care
  bad good
Please assess your overall palliative competence/expertise! - n (%) 20 (2.0) 90 (8.8) 533 (52.1) 350 (34.2)
  not true rather not true rather true completly true
Care of severe sick and dying patients should be a central part of GPs work. - n (%) 34 (3.3) 106 (10.4) 219 (21.4) 657 (64.2)
SPHC referral practice
Have you ever referred SPHC (within your work as a GP)?
 Yes - n (%) 847 (83.7)  
 No - n (%) 163 (15.9)  
Number of GPs’ SPHC referrals (follow-up referrals included) - Mean ± SD 8.8 ± 11.9  
Number of SPHC referrals by other health care professionals - Mean ± SD 3.7 ± 5.2  
  never always
Do you regularly stay involved in palliative patients’ treatment after SPHC initiation? - n (%) 53 (5.2) 174 (17.0) 298 (29.1) 356 (34.8)
How often is one of your SPHC referrals denied (by MDK)? - n (%) 653 (63.8) 166 (16.2) 31 (3.0) 0
  1. a Not all respondents answered every question. Percent does not add up to 100 due to rounding and non-responses
  2. b Medical advisary service of Social Health Insurance (MDK: Medizinischer Dienst der Krankenkassen)