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Collaboration Between General Practitioners and Occupational Physicians: A Comparison of the Results of Two National Surveys in France

Verger, Pierre MD; Ménard, Colette MSc; Richard, Jean-Baptiste MSc; Demortière, Gérard MD; Beck, François PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: February 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 2 - p 209–213
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000087
Original Articles

Objective: To study the perceptions that general practitioners (GPs) and occupational physicians (OPs) have of GPs' role in occupational health and their willingness to work together to prevent the exclusion of patients with disabilities from the workplace.

Methods: Cross-sectional telephone survey of two randomly selected national samples of GPs and OPs was conducted.

Results: The majority of GPs and OPs are in favor of cooperation, especially to prevent exclusion from the workplace. However, some GPs lack trust in OPs' independence, an attitude associated negatively with the practice of GP referral to OPs to anticipate disability-related problems likely to occur when returning to work after a prolonged sick leave.

Conclusions: There are some barriers to cooperation, on the part of both OPs and GPs. Initiatives are needed to encourage cooperation between these two types of physicians.

From the INSERM (Dr Verger), UMR912 (SESSTIM), and Aix-Marseille University, UMR_S912, IRD, and ORS PACA, Southeastern Health Regional Observatory, Marseille, France; French Institute for Health Promotion and Health Education (Dr Ménard), Saint-Denis, France; West Île-de-France Occupational Medicine Society (Mr Demortière), AMETIF Santé Travail, Cergy-Pontoise, France; and French Institute for Health Promotion and Health Education (Dr Beck), Saint-Denis, France; Cermes3–Cesames Team (Research Centre for Medicine, Science, Health, Mental Health and Society, Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne Paris Cité/CNRS UMR 8211/Inserm U988/EHESS), Paris, France.

Address correspondence to: Pierre Verger, MD, Observatoire Régional de la Santé Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, 23 rue Stanislas Torrents, 13006 Marseille, France (pierre.verger@inserm.fr).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine