As seen in previous years, women’s health issues and pregnancy and family planning presentations are more likely to be reported by younger GPs, female GPs and metropolitan GPs (Figure 2).
Psychological presentations are less commonly reported by GPs in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage and regional/rural areas in 2020. This may reflect the increased presentations for physical (such as endocrine and metabolic) health conditions, rather than a direct decrease in presentations for mental health (Figure 2).
Younger GPs and female GPs are more likely to report that psychological issues are the most common reason for patient presentations (Figure 2).
The RACGP survey also found that GPs located in areas of differing socioeconomic advantage1 reported some variance in common patient presentations.
Areas of lower socioeconomic advantage see more patients with endocrine and metabolic issues as well as the effects of non-medical issues on health (such as domestic violence, housing, income and racism). GPs in the most advantaged areas are more likely to see psychological issues and women’s health presentations (Figure 2).
GPs working in Aboriginal Medical Services more commonly report seeing patients about the effects of non-medical issues on health (18%) than GPs working in all types of practices (5%).5 GPs working in Aboriginal Medical Services are also more likely to be located in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage, with 50% of respondents located in SEIFA 1–3, compared to 16% of all GPs in SEIFA 1–3.†,5
As with other findings, the lower reported rates of psychological presentations in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage may reflect the need to prioritise concurrent physical health issues (endocrine and metabolic, circulatory) rather than actual lower rates of mental health presentations.