Experiences and management strategies of Norwegian GPs during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal interview study

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  • Silje Rebekka Heltveit-Olsen
  • Lene Lunde
  • Anja Marie Brænd
  • Ivan Spehar
  • Sigurd Høye
  • Ingmarie Skoglund
  • Pär-Daniel Sundvall
  • Guro Haugen Fossum
  • Jørund Straand
  • Risør, Mette Bech
Objective:When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Norway, primary health care had to reorgan-ize to ensure safe patient treatment and maintain infection control. General practitioners (GPs)are key health care providers in the municipalities. Our aim was to explore the experiences andmanagement strategies of Norwegian GPs during the COVID-19 pandemic - over time, and inthe context of a sudden organizational change.Design:Longitudinal qualitative interview study with two interview rounds. The first round of inter-views was conducted from September–December 2020, the second round from January–April 2021.In the first interview round, we performed eight semi-structured interviews with GPs from eightmunicipalities in Norway. In the second round, five of the GPs were re-interviewed. Consecutiveinterviews were performed 2–4 months apart. To analyze the data, we used thematic analysis.Results:The COVID-19 pandemic required GPs to balance several concerns, such as continuityof care and their own professional efforts. Several GPs experienced challenges in the collabor-ation with the municipality and in relation to defining their own professional position. Guidedby The Norwegian Association of General practitioners, The Norwegian College of GeneralPractice and collegial support, they found viable solutions and ended up with a feeling of hav-ing adapted to a new normal.Conclusions:Although our study demonstrates that the GPs adapted to the changing condi-tions, the current municipal health care models are not ideal. There is a need for clarification ofresponsibilities between GPs and the municipality to facilitate a more coordinated future pan-demic response.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)2-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 324950538