Data variables collected

The management of depression and what is the top lipid lowering drug prescribed in general practice are just some of the topics that can be investigated using the BEACH data.

Other topics can be investigated by making use of the interrelationships of the BEACH data variables:

  • Encounter characteristics
  • GP characteristics
    • Age; gender; years in general practice; number of sessions per week; country of graduation; size of practice; computer use; hours worked and on call each week; location (rurality) of practice.
  • Patient characteristics
    • Age; sex; NESB status; aboriginality; Torres Strait Islander status; Health Care Card and Veterans' Affairs status; status to the practice (new/seen before).
  • Patient reasons for encounter (up to three)
  • Problems managed at the consultation (up to four)
    • Status of each problem to the patient (new/managed before); whether the problem was work related.
  • Management: for each problem managed
    • Drugs prescribed; OTC advised; drugs supplied by the GP; status of the drug (new, continuation); dosage; regimen.
    • Other treatments, including therapeutic procedures and counselling; referrals to specialist; referrals to allied health professionals; admissions.
  • Tests and investigations
    • Pathology and imaging ordered at this consultation.
  • SAND = Supplementary Analysis of Nominated Data
    • Additional questions asked of patients in subsamples of encounters.
    • Different questions may be asked in each recording block (5 weeks).
    • Population risk factors investigated include: smoking status; alcohol consumption, body mass index. Specific interests of BEACH stakeholders are also investigated.