Screening patients for distress may cut GP demand

SA researchers show distress among older rural people leads to more GP and hospital visits

Older rural patients are three times more likely to be frequent GP visitors if they are psychologically distressed, a new Australian study finds, prompting calls for screening to identify those at risk. 

The research analysed data on almost 6000 rural and regional patients aged 60 and over from SA's 2013–2017 population health survey to determine the prevalence of psychological distress and how it affected use of the healthcare system.

Overall, 13% of the study group (mean age 72) had reported moderate to high