Patient safety is a quality indicator for primary care and it should be based on individual needs, and not differ among different social groups. Nevertheless, the attention on social disparities in patient safety has been mainly directed towards the hospital care, often overlooking the primary care setting. This paper, published in the International Journal for Equity in Health, aims to synthesise social disparities in patient safety in the primary care setting.
The results of this systematic review suggest that vulnerable social groups are likely to experience adverse patient safety events in primary care. Enhancing family doctors’ awareness of these inequities is a necessary first step to tackle them and improve patient safety for all patients. Future research should focus on social disparities in patient safety using socioeconomic indicators, such as income and education.