Piling high: a general practice registrar's unsolicited mail

Torkington, Amanda M., Preston, Robyn G., and Brandts-Giesen, David T. (2010) Piling high: a general practice registrar's unsolicited mail. Medical Journal of Australia, 193 (11/12). pp. 728-729.

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Objective: To determine the amount, types, and proportion that is read of unsolicited mail received by a general practice registrar.

Design, setting and participant: A mixed-methods, prospective, descriptive study of unsolicited mail sent directly to a general practice registrar in a private general practice located in rural north Queensland, collected between 1 March and 30 September 2010.

Main outcome measures: The amount, by number and weight, of unsolicited mail items, and the proportion of each document read, in total and by category.

Results: 196 items of unsolicited mail, weighing 19.85 kg, were received over a period of 7 months. The category with the largest number of mail items was pharmaceutical company correspondence (70; 36%), closely followed by medical tabloids and free journals (67; 34%). Medical tabloids and free journals made up the largest proportion of unsolicited mail by weight (15.49 kg; 78%). Of all 196 items, only 10 (5%) had more than half of their content read.

Conclusions: Although small in size, this study suggests that a reduction in unsolicited mail to general practitioners in Australia would have benefits for GPs in terms of time management, environmental benefits, and reduction in frustration levels.

Item ID: 15268
Item Type: Article (Case Study)
ISSN: 1326-5377
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Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2011 04:04
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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