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How primary healthcare in Iceland swiftly changed its strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

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dc.contributor.author Sigurdsson, Emil Larus
dc.contributor.author Blondal, Anna Bryndis
dc.contributor.author Jonsson, Jon Steinar
dc.contributor.author Tomasdottir, Margret Olafia
dc.contributor.author Hrafnkelsson, Hannes
dc.contributor.author Linnet, Kristjan
dc.contributor.author Sigurdsson, Johann Agust
dc.date.accessioned 2022-09-06T01:01:58Z
dc.date.available 2022-09-06T01:01:58Z
dc.date.issued 2020-12-07
dc.identifier.citation Sigurdsson , E L , Blondal , A B , Jonsson , J S , Tomasdottir , M O , Hrafnkelsson , H , Linnet , K & Sigurdsson , J A 2020 , ' How primary healthcare in Iceland swiftly changed its strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic ' , BMJ Open , vol. 10 , no. 12 , e043151 . https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043151
dc.identifier.issn 2044-6055
dc.identifier.other PURE: 29998017
dc.identifier.other PURE UUID: da890899-a2c3-4683-8523-fa564376cf51
dc.identifier.other Scopus: 85097514676
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3422
dc.description Funding Information: Contributors All authors contributed to the planning, conduct and reporting of the study. ELS, JSJ, MOT, HH, KL worked on acquisition of the data. ELS, ABB and JSJ drafted the manuscript with input from MOT, HH, KL and JAS which was critically reviewed by all the authors. HH performed the statistical analysis. ELS, ABB, JSJ, MOT, HH, KL, JAS read and approved the final version of the manuscript. Funding This research was supported by the Research Fund of the Icelandic College of Family Physicians. Publisher Copyright: ©
dc.description.abstract Objective To describe how the primary healthcare (PHC) in Iceland changed its strategy to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. Design Descriptive observational study. Setting Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Population The Reykjavik area has a total of 233 000 inhabitants. Main outcome measures The number and the mode of consultations carried out. Drug prescriptions and changes in the 10 most common diagnoses made in PHC. Laboratory tests including COVID-19 tests. Average numbers in March and April 2020 compared with the same months in 2018 and 2019. Results Pragmatic strategies and new tasks were rapidly applied to the clinical work to meet the foreseen healthcare needs caused by the pandemic. The number of daytime consultations increased by 35% or from 780 to 1051/1000 inhabitants (p<0.001) during the study period. Telephone and web-based consultations increased by 127% (p<0.001). The same tendency was observed in out-of-hours services. The number of consultations in maternity and well-child care decreased only by 4% (p=0.003). Changes were seen in the 10 most common diagnoses. Most noteworthy, apart from a high number of COVID-19 suspected disease, was that immunisation, depression, hypothyroidism and lumbago were not among the top 10 diagnoses during the epidemic period. The number of drug prescriptions increased by 10.3% (from 494 to 545 per 1000 inhabitants, p<0.001). The number of prescriptions from telephone and web-based consultations rose by 55.6%. No changes were observed in antibiotics prescriptions. Conclusions As the first point of contact in the COVID-19 pandemic, the PHC in Iceland managed to change its strategy swiftly while preserving traditional maternity and well-child care, indicating a very solid PHC with substantial flexibility in its organisation.
dc.language.iso en
dc.relation.ispartofseries BMJ Open; 10(12)
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject COVID-19
dc.subject epidemiology
dc.subject infectious diseases
dc.subject organisation of health services
dc.subject primary care
dc.subject Medicine (all)
dc.title How primary healthcare in Iceland swiftly changed its strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
dc.type /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/researchoutputtypes/contributiontojournal/article
dc.description.version Peer reviewed
dc.identifier.pmid 33293329
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043151
dc.relation.url http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85097514676&partnerID=8YFLogxK
dc.contributor.department Faculty of Medicine
dc.contributor.department Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

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