Aim – To explore GP perceptions of the impact of the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes on primary care clinic patients.
Methods – Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with eight GPs from the Christchurch area exploring GPs’ perceptions of the impact on patients.
Results – Patients experienced significant strain and anxiety following the earthquakes. The impact of this differed due to personal circumstances. Secondary stressors such as insurance and housing issues contributed to experiences of distress.
Conclusions – The GPs identified significant impacts on patients as a result of the earthquakes with significant levels of strain and anxiety being due to the on-going recovery process. It appears that a significant proportion of the affected population felt comfortable talking with the GPs about the earthquakes, secondary stressors and their effects upon them.