Journal article

The Health Service Use of Frequent Users of Telephone Helplines in a Cohort of General Practice Attendees with Depressive Symptoms

Aves Middleton, Jane Pirkis, Patty Chondros, Bridget Bassilios, Jane Gunn



We examined the relationship between frequent use of telephone helplines and health service use over time in a cohort of 789 general practice attendees with depressive symptoms. Telephone helpline use (no use, non-frequent use, frequent use) was measured at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months and analysed using ordered logistic regression. Sixteen participants (2 %) reported frequent use of telephone helplines. Reporting frequent use was associated with visiting multiple general practitioners, using emergency services and visiting mental health specialists in the previous 3 months. Despite this pattern of service use, there was evidence that these services were not meeting the needs of frequent users of t..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council PhD scholarship

Funding Acknowledgements

The data used for this paper was collected as a part of the diamond study which is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (ID: 299869, 454463, 566511 and 1002908) and the Victorian Centre for Excellence in Depression and Related Disorders, an initiative between beyondblue and the State Government of Victoria. We acknowledge the 30 dedicated GPs, their patients and practice staff for making this research possible. We thank the cohort participants for their ongoing involvement in the study. Ms Middleton is the holder of a National Health and Medical Research Council PhD scholarship (ID: 1055658) and an Ian Scott PhD scholarship awarded by Australian Rotary Health. We are also grateful for feedback and support from the staff at Lifeline Foundation, particularly Mr Alan Woodward. The preparation of this manuscript including the analysis was supported by the Lifeline Foundation with funding from Servier Australia. No funding body had a role in the study design; the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the manuscript; or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.