Continuity of care: Literature review and implications

Mohammed Alazri*, Philip Heywood, Richard D. Neal, Brenda Leese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Continuity of care is widely regarded as a core value of primary care. The objective of this article is to explore the literature about the concept of continuity of care focusing on factors that influence continuity; advantages and disadvantages of continuity and the effect of continuity on outcomes, hence on the quality of care. Electronic databases and other websites were searched for relevant literature. The results of this review showed that continuity of care is influenced by demographic factors, factors related to patients and healthcare professionals, patient-healthcare professional relationship, inter-professional factors, role of receptionists and organisational factors. Several advantages were found to be associated with most types of continuity in various medical disciplines preventive medicine, general health, maternity and child health, mental and psychosocial health, chronic diseases and costs of care. Various factors influenced different types of continuity. Most types of continuity were associated with good outcomes, hence indirectly affecting the quality of care. Health care professionals and policy makers should be aware of the effect of continuity on quality of care and of the factors that influence continuity if they wish to preserve it as a core value of primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Continuity of care
  • General Practitioner
  • Literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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