Predictors of High Prescribing Rates in Family Practice during Actual Consultation: A Cross-sectional Study from Slovenia

Ksenija Tušek-Bunc, Zalika Klemenc-Ketiš, Marija Petek-Šter, Jože Matela, Janko Kersnik


With a cross-sectional survey wich was held on in Slovenia we would like to define the predictors of high prescribing rates in family practice. 42 involved family doctor reported 300 office contacts, i.e. a total of 12.596 contacts. The participants were asked to fulfil the questionnaire for each patient-doctor encounter in one day. In 12.596 recorded contacts, 14.485 prescriptions were issued to the patients. The patients got from 0 to 10 prescriptions per visit (mean ± SD 1.2 ± 1.4). Among 7.363 (58.5%) patients, who got at least one prescription, the mean number of prescriptions was 2.0 ± 1.4. The majority of prescribed drugs were for cardiovascular system. The multivariate model for higher number of prescribed drugs explained 20.2% of the variation. Independent predictors for higher prescribing rates during a consultation were female sex, older age, higher number of problems dealt within the consultation (comorbidity), longer consultation times, lower education grade, higher patient quota on the list, higher prescribing quota indexed by NHII for the past year, being a specialist in family medicine, male doctor and age of doctor more than 44 years. Practice characteristics did not show any correlations with high prescribing volumes. The results of this survey show that some patients’ and doctors’ characteristics and also some consultations’ characteristics affect the prescribing rate. Additional analyses should be performed to identify reasons for that and to propose proper actions.


family practices, family physicians, physicians’ practice patterns, drug prescriptions, Slovenia

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