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Table 3 Statements from Swedish focus groups with general practitioners (GP) and nurses (N) concerning the key priority-setting criteria (severity of health condition, patient benefit, and cost-effectiveness) that exemplify the category of timeframe.

From: Priority setting in primary health care - dilemmas and opportunities: a focus group study

Timeframe Severity of the health condition Patient benefit Cost-effectiveness of the intervention
Now 1. It is simple if a patient comes in with an acute heart attack. Or if it's a case of ileus or some other acute medical condition. But if it's a chronic condition it is harder. (GP 1, Group 1) 2. You get certain patients who you can deal with before they leave the room. And it doesn't take long either. There aren't so many of them, but when it is impacted wax, or something like that. (GP 5, Group 4) 4. I was just thinking that I wish that one of my patients would suddenly stand up and say: "Now" he would say, "I have taken my last drag. Now I have quit. Now I have quit smoking, right now."
(GP1, Group 1)
    5. A simple wound that requires stitches not to leave an unsightly scar... and may be dealt with in a few minutes.
(GP1, Group 1)
   3. There were patients I checked to see if they had a wound infection. Then, it was really important to see them so they could perhaps have penicillin or something.
(N 2, Group 6)
Later 6. A diabetic who may perhaps suffer from gangrene in five years' time. Well, it would be difficult to call that a highly prioritised patient today.
(Gp3, Group 4)
7. In the case of chronic illnesses, the patient is often aware of the situation... well, one has talked to them before and explained that there's not a lot more that can be done. (GP 2, Group 1) 8. It is really difficult. When do we consider that hypertension treatment is cost-effective? If we treat a woman of around 40 for mild hypertension it isn't really cost-effective.
(GP 2, Group 1)
    9. If there's something that the patient comes to see us for, that at a later stage... or in other words, if you delay, it may be much more expensive.
(N 1, Group 7)
  1. The statements are numbered in the order of their reference in the text.