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Open Access Research article

Are family practice trainers and their host practices any better? comparing practice trainers and non-trainers and their practices

Pieter van den Hombergh1, Saskia Schalk-Soekar2, Anneke Kramer3, Ben Bottema3, Stephen Campbell4 and Jozé Braspenning1*

Author Affiliations

1 IQ healthcare (114), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500, HB, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

2 Department of Psychology, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000, LE, Tilburg, the Netherlands

3 Department of Primary and Community Care (117), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500, HB, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

4 Health Sciences Research Group – Primary Care, University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9, PL, UK

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BMC Family Practice 2013, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-23

Published: 21 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Family Physician (FP) trainees are expected to be provided with high quality training in well organized practice settings. This study examines differences between FP trainers and non-trainers and their practices to see whether there are differences in trainers and non-trainers and in how their practices are organized and their services are delivered.

Method

203 practices (88 non-training and 115 training) with 512 FPs (335 non-trainers and 177 trainers) were assessed using the “Visit Instrument Practice organization (VIP)” on 369 items (142 FP-level; 227 Practice level). Analyses (ANOVA, ANCOVA) were conducted for each level by calculating differences between FP trainees and non-trainees and their host practices.

Results

Trainers scored higher on all but one of the items, and significantly higher on 47 items, of which 13 remained significant after correcting for covariates. Training practices scored higher on all items and significantly higher on 61 items, of which 23 remained significant after correcting for covariates. Trainers (and training practices) provided more diagnostic and therapeutic services, made better use of team skills and scored higher on practice organization, chronic care services and quality management than non-training practices. Trainers reported more job satisfaction and commitment and less job stress than non-trainers.

Discussion

There are positive differences between FP trainers and non-trainers in both the level and the quality of services provided by their host practices. Training institutions can use this information to promote the advantages of becoming a FP trainer and training practice as well as to improve the quality of training settings for FPs.

Keywords:
Primary care; Family practice; Quality of healthcare; Teaching; Workload