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Maritime Doctors and General Partitioners Service Profiles: A Research Protocol

Despena Andrioti and Olaf Chresten Jensen Jensen

Background: Maritime employees are a hard to reach population group. The mandatory medical examinations of seafarers, fishermen and offshore workers are performed by GPs with training in maritime medicine. However, they might as well consult their regular general practitioner for other health concerns. So far very little is known about the breadth of services and follow up practices offered to them by GPs as well as maritime doctors. The final goal is to determine GPs and maritime doctors’ perceived training needs so that relevant continuing medical education could be developed. Methods: This research project will involve 200 doctors (100 maritime doctors and 100 general practitioners) from all over Denmark using an electronic and anonymous questionnaire. This is based on international standards, adapted and validated. The scoping review helped in enriching the questions. The analysis of the results will give insight on the service profiles and draw conclusions regarding doctors’ attitudes and their perceived training needs. The gap analysis can show potential areas for in depth guidance. Discussion: The study is expected to identify areas of knowledge that may need to be updated so that doctors optimize their services to their seagoing populations. The results may be used as guidelines for continuing professional development of these medical specialties and contribute informed decisions making.