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Predictive factors of the general public’s willingness to be seen and seek treatment from a nurse practitioner in Australia: A cross-sectional national survey
journal contributionposted on 27.08.2021, 05:17 by Trudy DwyerTrudy Dwyer, Alison Craswell, Matthew BrowneMatthew Browne
Background: Health care delivery in Australia is experiencing challenges with services struggling to keep up with the increasing demands of an aging population, rising levels of chronic disease and limited funding for care. Where adjunct models of health care such as the Nurse Practitioner (NP) have the potential to address this gap, in Australia, they remain an underutilised service. Clarifying the nature of the consumers ‘willingness’ to be seen by NPs warrants further investigation. Methods: Australia-wide, cross-sectional population-based survey was undertaken using computer-assisted telephone interviewing technique. Results: While just over 53% of the general public participants (n = 1318) had heard of an NP, once they became aware of their scope of practice, the majority agreed or strongly agreed they were willing to be seen by an NP in the community (91.6%), the emergency department 88.2%), to manage chronic conditions (86%), to have scrips written and referrals made (85.3%), and if they did not have to wait so long to see a medical doctor (81%). Factors significantly predicting willingness were being: female, less than 65 years of age, native English speakers, or residents from town/regional and rural settings. Conclusion: Despite limited awareness of the NP role, a large proportion of the Australian population, across different demographic groups, are willing to be seen and treated by an NP. Expansion of this role to support medical services in areas of need could improve healthcare delivery.