Prescription of technical aids by general practitioners in the Netherlands

M. C.J. Biermans, J. Dekker, C. H.M. Van Den Ende

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This study focused on the allocation of technical aids, in particular which technical aids general practitioners (GPs) prescribe for what patients. Data was collected by 64 Dutch GPs participating in a nationwide representative sentinel practice network. The GPs gathered information on type of technical aid prescribed, patient characteristics, and diagnosis (coded according to the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC)). The most frequently prescribed technical aids include incontinence supplies, anti-oedema stockings, and rollators. The number of prescribed technical aids increased strongly with the age of the patients and almost all technical aids were prescribed more often for women than for men. Most technical aids were prescribed based on the initiative of the patients. The GPs made a wide range of diagnoses in the prescription of technical aids. Diagnoses involving the musculoskeletal system, the circulatory system, and the urinary system were the most frequently made. Implications of these findings for policy and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Diagnosis
  • Family physicians
  • General practitioners
  • Self-help devices
  • Technical aids
  • The Netherlands

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