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Table 4 Baseline distribution of patient and call characteristics, stratified by triage professional group

From: Safety, efficiency and health-related quality of telephone triage conducted by general practitioners, nurses, or physicians in out-of-hours primary care: a quasi-experimental study using the Assessment of Quality in Telephone Triage (AQTT) to assess audio-recorded telephone calls

Triage professionalGP (n = 423)Nurse (n = 430)Physician (n = 441)
Patient characteristics
 Sex, % (n) £
  Male42.8 (181)37.9 (163)47.2 (208)
  Female57.2 (242)62.1 (267)52.8 (233)
 Age group in years, % (n)
  0–420.3 (86)23.6 (101)21.9 (96)
  5–1715.8 (67)13.3 (57)14.8 (65)
  18–3929.6 (125)31.5 (135)30.6 (134)
  40–6421.8 (92)20.6 (88)20.1 (88)
  ≥6512.5 (53)11.0 (47)12.6 (55)
Call characteristics
 Time of calla, % (n)
  Weekend51.6 (218)51.2 (220)50.3 (222)
  Not weekend48.5 (205)48.8 (210)49.7 (219
  Day22.2 (94)22.6 (97)21.1 (93)
  Evening61.5 (260)60.9 (262)61.5 (271)
  Night16.3 (69)16.5 (71)17.5 (77)
Length of call, min and sec (SD - sec)£
 Mean2 min 57 s (105) b4 min 44 s (168)*4 min 1 s (146)*
  1. £ Indicating a significant difference (p < 0.05) between all three groups of triage professionals, using chi-square test for categorical variables and Kruskal-Wallis for length of call
  2. *Significant difference between nurses or physicians in pairwise comparison with GPs as reference group (Bonferroni adjusted p < 0.025), using chi-squared test (all categorical variables) and Mann-Whitney U-test (length of call)
  3. aTime of call: Weekend = Friday 4 pm - Sunday midnight; Not weekend = Monday 0 am - Friday 8 am; bAvailable only for 352 of 423 calls from GPC