The roles of primary care doctors in the COVID-19 pandemic: consistency and influencing factors of doctor's perception and actions and nominal definitions

Chenbin Yang, Jiana Yin, Jiongjiong Liu, Jinying Liu, Qin Chen, Hui Yang, Yunchao Ni, Bingcan Li, Yanmei Li, Jin Lin, Ziwei Zhou, Zhangping Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: At the end of 2019, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic broke out. As front-line health professionals, primary care doctors play a significant role in screening SARS-CoV-2 infection and transferring suspected cases. However, the performance of primary care doctors is influenced by their knowledge and role perception. A web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess the consistency and influencing factors of primary care doctor's role perception and expert advice in the guidelines (regulatory definition). Methods: We designed the questionnaire using “Wenjuanxing” platform, distributed and collected the questionnaire through WeChat social platform, and surveyed 1758 primary care doctors from 11 community health service stations, community health service centers and primary hospitals in Zhejiang Province, China. After the questionnaire was collected, descriptive statistics were made on the characteristics of participants, and univariate analysis and multivariate analysis were used to determine the relevant factors affecting their role cognition. Results: In the reporting and referral suspected cases and patients receiving treatment, most participants’ cognition of their roles were consistent with the requirements of guidelines. However, 49.54% and 61.43% of participant doctors were not in line with the government guidelines for diagnosing and classifying COVID-19 and treating suspected cases, respectively. Having a middle or senior professional title and participating in front-line COVID-19 prevention and control work is beneficial to the accurate role perception of diagnosis and classification of COVID-19, the reporting and transfer of suspected cases, and the treatment of suspected cases. Conclusions: Primary care doctors’ role perceptions in the COVID-19 pandemic are not always consistent with government guidelines in some aspects, such as transferring and diagnosing suspected cases. Therefore, it is essential to guide primary care doctors in performing their duties, especially those with lower professional titles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1143
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Primary care doctors
  • Questionnaire
  • Role perception

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