Aim: This cross-sectional study is the first one to explore the collaboration of the influencing factors thereof amongst general practitioners (GPs) and gynaecologists (Gyns) working in primary care in urban and rural settings in Germany.
Background: The number of women aged >= 50 years is predicted to increase in the next years in Germany. This coincides with the ageing of primary care specialists providing outpatient care. Whereas delegation of tasks to nurses as a form of interprofessional collaboration has been the target of recent studies, there is no data regarding collaboration amongst physicians in different specialisations working in primary care. We explored collaboration amongst GPs and Gyn regarding the healthcare provision to women aged >= 50 years.
Methods: A quantitative postal survey was administered to GPs and Gyns in three federal states in Germany, focusing on care provision to women aged >= 50 years. A total of 4545 physicians, comprising 3514 GPs (67% of the total GP population) randomly selected, and all 1031 Gyns practicing in these states received the postal survey in March 2018. A single reminder was sent in April 2018 with data collection ending in June 2018. Multiple logistic regressions were performed for collaboration, adjusted by age and sex, alongside descriptive methods.
Findings: The overall response rate was 31% (1389 respondents): 861 GPs (25%) and 528 Gyns (51%), with the mean respondent age being 54.4 years. Seventy-two per cent were female. Key competencies of collaboration are associated with working in rural federal states and with network participation. Physicians from rural states [odds ratio (OR) = 1.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.2, 1.9] and physicians in networks (OR = 3.0, CI = 2.3, 3.9) were more satisfied with collaboration. Collaboration to deliver services for women aged >= 50 years is more systematic amongst GPs and Gyns who are members of a network; increased networking could improve collaboration, and ultimately, outcomes too.