General practice visits by people with traumatic spinal cord injury: A Queensland longitudinal study
People with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), although proportionally fewer in number, are known to be high users of primary health care services; however, details of their visits to GPs are unclear. This study presents information about GP utilisation patterns of 193 people with SCI over a 5-year period. Results demonstrate substantially greater GP service utilisation, particularly for young men with SCI, compared with their counterparts in the general population. Interestingly, people with paraplegia were proportionally higher users of GP services than those with tetraplegia. Results indicate the need for specialist support for GPs to meet the SCI-specific needs of this patient group. Specialist SCI outreach teams may be a useful resource to primary health care practitioners.