Back to Journals » International Journal of General Medicine » Volume 6

Lack of confidence in administering emergency care among Dutch-speaking family physicians in Belgium

Authors Van De Vijver E, Devroey D

Received 9 April 2013

Accepted for publication 18 June 2013

Published 17 July 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 589—596


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Erwin Van De Vijver, Dirk Devroey

Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Department of Family Medicine, Brussels, Belgium

Background: Practical knowledge of emergency medical care among physicians seems to be insufficient worldwide. Research specifically aimed at family physicians is rather scarce. Additionally, in Belgium there are no data on this subject.
Purposes: Our aim was to ascertain how confident Belgian family physicians feel about their ability to give adequate emergency care and to examine their assessment of their knowledge of relevant medical conditions.
Methods: We used a web-based questionnaire for which a convenience sample of 974 Dutch-speaking family practitioners was invited through email. The survey assessed how these physicians perceived their own emergency skills and their knowledge of relevant medical conditions.
Results: The survey had a recruitment rate of 22% (n = 210), with a 75% completion rate. The minimum criteria formulated pertaining to skills and knowledge were met by 64% and 55% of the participants, respectively. The mean cumulative scores on skills and knowledge were 2.5 and 3.2, respectively (on a scale from 0 to 4). Physicians with additional training in emergency care (3.07 versus 2.72), or with a spirometry certificate (2.94 versus 2.72) scored better than those without. Practitioners from rural areas felt more confident than those from urbanized regions (3.25 versus 3.15). Physicians felt more competent in aspects of emergency care where they had experience.
Conclusion: Almost half of the Dutch-speaking family physicians in Belgium felt insufficiently competent to offer emergency medical care.

Keywords: emergency medical care, family physician, Dutch, Belgium, medical training

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]