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Healthcare-seeking behaviour in case of influenza-like illness in the French general population and factors associated with a GP consultation: an observational prospective study

Abstract : Background: GP consultation rates for influenza-like illness (ILI) are poorly known in France and there is a paucity of literature on this topic. In the few articles that have been published, the results are heterogeneous. Aim: The aim of the present study was to estimate the proportion of ILI inducing a GP consultation, and to assess its determinants. Design & setting: Participants of a French web-based cohort study who reported ≥1 ILI episode between 2012 and 2015 were included. Sociodemographic characteristics, access to health care, and health status variables were collected. Method: Healthcare-seeking behaviour was analysed and factors associated with a GP consultation identified using a conditional logistic regression. Results: Of the 6023 ILI episodes reported, 1961 (32.6%) led to a GP consultation, with no difference between those at risk of influenza complications and those not (P = 0.42). A GP consultation was more frequent for individuals living in a rural area (odds ratio [OR] = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02 to 1.43); those with a lower educational level (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.18 to 1.74); those using the internet to find information about influenza (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.30 to 2.03); patients presenting with worrying symptoms (fever, cough, dyspnoea, sputum, or asthenia); patients having a negative perception of their own health status (OR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.07 to 2.13; and those having declared a personal doctor (OR = 2.86, 95% CI = 1.72 to 4.76). A GP consultation was less frequent for individuals using alternative medicine (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.58 to 0.78). Conclusion: This study allows the identification of specific factors associated with GP consultation for an ILI episode. These findings may help to coordinate health information campaigns and to raise awareness, especially among individuals at risk of influenza complications.
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Matthieu Ariza, Caroline Guerrisi, Cécile Souty, Louise Rossignol, Clément Turbelin, et al.. Healthcare-seeking behaviour in case of influenza-like illness in the French general population and factors associated with a GP consultation: an observational prospective study. British Journal of General Practice, Royal College of General Practitioners, 2017, 1 (4), bjgpopen17X101253. ⟨10.3399/bjgpopen17x101253⟩. ⟨hal-01976113⟩

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