Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 952314, 8 pages
Research Article

Are Cancer Patients’ Socioeconomic and Cultural Factors Associated with Contact to General Practitioners in the Last Phase of Life?

1The Palliative Team, Aarhus University Hospital, Noerrebrogade 44, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2The Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
3The Research Unit for General Practice, University of Southern Denmark, 7000 Odense, Denmark
4Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care, The Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
5Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Received 14 June 2015; Accepted 16 August 2015

Academic Editor: Paul Van Royen

Copyright © 2015 M. A. Neergaard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. General practitioners (GPs) play an important role in end of life care, which should be offered regardless of socioeconomic position and cultural factors. The aim was to analyse associations between GP contacts at the end of life and socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of Danish cancer patients. Method. Population-based study identifying 599 adults who died of cancer from March to November 2006, in Aarhus County, Denmark. Associations between health register-based data on “total GP face-to-face contacts” and “GP home visits” during the last 90 days of life and patients’ socioeconomic and cultural characteristics were calculated. Results. Having low income (RR: 1.18 (95% CI: 1.03; 1.35)) and being immigrants or descendants of immigrants (RR: 1.17 (95% CI: 1.02; 1.35)) were associated with GP face-to-face contacts. However, patients living in large municipalities had lower likelihood of having both GP face-to-face contacts in general (RR: 0.85 (95% CI: 0.77;0.95)) and GP home visits (RR: 0.89 (95% CI: 0.80; 0.99)). Conclusion. This study indicates higher proportion of GP contacts to economically deprived patients and immigrants/descendants of immigrants. These subgroups were, however, small and results should be looked upon with caution. Furthermore, palliative needs were not included and together with urban/rural the underlying causes need further investigation.