Research Article

Unemployment and patterns of consultation with the general practitioner.

BMJ 1989; 298 doi: (Published 06 May 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;298:1212
  1. P. Yuen,
  2. R. Balarajan
  1. Epidemiology and Public Health Research Unit, University of Surrey, Guildford.


    The relation between unemployment and consultations with the general practitioner was investigated among 13,275 economically active men aged 18-64 by using the British general household surveys. Men who were unemployed but seeking work consulted with doctors significantly more (odds ratio 1.83; 95% confidence interval 1.61 to 2.09) than those in employment, the highest consultation rate being among those who had been out of work for five years or more (odds ratio 2.12; 95% confidence interval 1.12 to 3.78). The high consultation rates persisted even after adjustment for self reported longstanding illness (odds ratio 1.53; 95% confidence interval 1.34 to 1.76). These findings suggest that in areas with high unemployment general practitioner workload is likely to be high.