The Top Reasons for Primary Care Encounters
As the main point of entry to the healthcare system, primary care providers (PCPs) see perhaps the broadest range of conditions and concerns of all medical specialties. A recent systematic review of 18 studies from 12 countries sought to determine the most common reasons for patient encounters in primary care. The researchers compared the perspectives of clinicians (the presenting conditions of patients in primary care encounters) and unreferred patients (why they made appointments with PCPs).
The 10 most common clinician- and patient-reported reasons for primary care visits, in both developed and developing countries, are shown in the Table.
Table. Most Common Reasons for Visits to Primary Care, All Countries
|1||Upper respiratory tract infections||Cough|
|3||Routine health maintenance/td>||Abdominal symptoms|
|6||Depression or anxiety||Dermatitis|
|8||Acute otitis media||Leg symptoms|
|9||Back pain||Unspecified respiratory concerns|
However, the top 10 reasons for primary care visits in developed countries (including the United States) differed slightly and were (in descending order):
Upper respiratory tract infections
Depression or anxiety
Routine health maintenance
Arthritis (excluding back)
Acute otitis media
Urinary tract infection
Medscape © 2019
Cite this: Tom G. Bartol. Top Reasons for Primary Care Visits - Medscape - Feb 04, 2019.