Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

[Primary healthcare and COVID-19 in France: contributions of a research network including practitioners and researchers].

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 epidemic represented a major challenge for the primary care sector. We present the results of an interprofessional collaborative research endeavor conducted by the ACCORD network to describe primary care actors' and organizations' response to the first wave of the epidemic and national lockdown in France.

METHODS: This work draws from quantitative and qualitative material. The quantitative data results from the cross-analysis of the six online surveys carried out by the ACCORD network between March and May 2020, among general practitioners, midwives, and multi-professional primary care organizations in France. This data was enriched by collective multi-professional and multi-disciplinary exchanges conducted in virtual focus groups during an online seminar.

RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in primary care activity during the first wave of the epidemic. Many primary care actors adapted their organizations to lower the risk of coronavirus transmission while maintaining access and continuity of care. Professionals received and used information from multiple sources. The crisis revealed both the importance and the diversity of local networks of exchange and collaboration.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary care actors adapted quickly and with important local variability to the COVID epidemic, highlighting the importance of pre-existing organizations and collaborations at the local level.

MeSH terms: Communicable Disease Control; COVID-19; France; Humans; Primary Health Care; Research Personnel
DOI: 10.3917/spub.216.0923