Using data from the Multipurpose ISTAT surveys on health and the use of health services of the years 2005 and 2013, the study describes the characteristics of the patients who most fre-quently visit their general practitioner, the frequent attenders (FA) and identifies the main de-terminants of access, analyzing the differences between the two surveys. In 2005, 7% is a FA, compared to 8.1% in 2013. The main determinant of the probability of being an FA is obviously the health conditions, both physical and mental; there is also a strong association with the use of other health ser-vices, namely medicines and diagnostic tests. The study highlights the importance of socio-economic characteristics, with a variable impact by gender, age and social indicator: among the elderly (> 64 years of age), individual conditions such as availability of economic re-sources, education and family type have the strongest impact; while among the younger ones, contextual characteristics are more relevant. In the analysis of the temporal trend, the impact of the health conditions on the probability of being a FA appears slightly diminished among the elderly, which suggests a future increase in the role of social determinants.
Keywords: General practitioner; primary care; frequent attenders; determinants of access; so-cioeconomic characteristics.
Maurizio Marino, Raffaella Rusciani, Giuseppe Costa, Teresa Spadea, Social vulnerability and primary care: the case of frequent attenders in "WELFARE E ERGONOMIA" 1/2018, pp. 73-85, DOI:10.3280/WE2018-001004