Healthcare services utilization by respiratory tract infections patients attending primary healthcare centers in Qatar
Respiratory-tract-infections (RTIs) are a common indication, and responsible for most of the healthcare services use at primary care. The study aimed to investigate the utilization and determinants of a number of healthcare services use by local Qatari patients presented at selected primary health centers in Qatar. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted using an electronic database that captured RTIrelated healthcare services use from selected primary care health centers in Qatar during
... ly 2015 to December 2017. Trends in monthly rates of healthcare services utilization were investigated via a linear regression, while patient-level count data on utilization were used to estimate a negative binomial regression to identify determinants of each of the four healthcare services use. Results: In total, 171447 RTI-related visits were made by 58786 patients during July 2015 to December 2017. The mean age (± SD) of participants is 24.80 (±18.5) years, and 48.91% of them are male. The highest number of patients with a comorbidity was diabetes (12.85%), followed by hypertension (10.54%). There was a small but statistically significant decreasing trend in the monthly rates of antibiotics consumption and an increasing trend in the rates of tests/investigations done, with less number of utilization during summer months. Healthcare services utilization varied significantly across age-categories and whether patients had one of the five comorbidities. Age and comorbidity status appeared to be important predictors for patient-level healthcare services utilization. Conclusion: The study produces results on selected primary healthcare services utilization by local RTI patients, which are in line with evidence from the literature. It facilitates an evidence-base for policymakers to comprehend the scale of the problem and plan a better management of RTIs at primary care setting in Qatar.