Over a period of two months in 1988 and 1989 general practitioners in the Norwegian county of Møre and Romsdal recorded all contacts with their patients. Participation was close to 100%. We report data from 10,850 surgery consultations with elderly patients (65 years and older). 60% of the consultations involved female patients, and 58% of the patients were 65-74 years old. New diagnoses were made in one-third of the cases; two-thirds were follow-ups. The most common groups of diagnoses were cardiovascular (28%), musculoskeletal (13%), psychiatric (8%) and respiratory diseases (8%). Almost 10% of all consultations were for hypertension. Drugs were prescribed in 45% of all cases. 27% of all prescriptions were for cardiovascular drugs, and 25% were for drugs for the nervous system. The 20 most common diagnoses made up more than half of the total number of diagnoses. Almost 70% of all prescriptions were for the ten most common therapeutic groups.
Over a period of two months in 1988 and 1989 all general practitioners in the Norwegian county of Møre and Romsdal recorded all contacts with their patients. We report data from 1,384 house calls to elderly patients (65 years and older). House calls made up 11.3% of all face-to-face contacts between general practitioners and elderly patients. 59% of the visits were to female patients, and 60% were to patients 75 years and older. 23% of the house calls took place during weekends, and new diagnoses were made in 58% of the cases. The most common groups of diagnoses were cardiovascular (21%), respiratory (16%), and musculoskeletal diseases (13%). Drugs were prescribed for 42% of the house calls. 28% of all drugs prescribed were for the nervous system, while 26% were antibiotics for systemic use. Most house calls were made because of acute illnesses. Our results suggest that preventive home visits to the elderly are rarely, if ever, performed in general practice.
The study evaluates the prevalence and diagnoses of abdominal complaints in general practice, and compares characteristics and symptoms of patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and organic diseases.
A cross-sectional study.
Nine centres with 26 participating general practitioners (GPs) in Norway.
3097 out of 3369 consecutive adult patients answered a questionnaire regarding abdominal complaints IN the last 3 months. Those who consulted for the complaints were eligible for this study.
The GPs' diagnoses and patients' characteristics were reported in questionnaires.
460 out of 1499 patients with abdominal complaints consulted for these complaints; 392 were included in this study. The GPs diagnosed an FGID in 167 (42.6%) patients, organic disease in 145 (37.0%), and made no diagnosis in 80 (20.4%). Stress-related symptoms were a statistically significant predictor of a FGID (OR 1.95) and weight loss predicted in addition organic disease (OR 2.7) in 128 patients with a verified diagnosis.
Abdominal complaints are a common problem in general practice. The distinction between FGID, which accounted for half of the diagnoses, and organic disease was difficult. The only significant predictor for FGID was stress-related symptoms.
Comment In: Scand J Prim Health Care. 2005 Jun;23(2):126; author reply 126-716036553
INTRODUCTION: Abdominal obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia and hypertension. The prevalence of abdominal obesity and its relationship with these comorbidities have not previously been examined in Danish primary care patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The IDEA study was an international cross sectional study including 168,159 patients worldwide. In Denmark, 47 randomly selected general practitioners included 847 consecutive patients. Age, gender, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI) and the presence of known comorbidities were recorded for all patients. RESULTS: The prevalence of abdominal obesity (waist circumference = 80 cm for women and = 94 cm for men) was 66% among women and 60% among men. There was a significant relationship between the degree of abdominal obesity and the prevalence of diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension for both sexes. There was a trend towards an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease with increased waist circumference. CONCLUSION: Abdominal obesity is very frequently found in Danish primary care patients, and it is associated with an increased prevalence of diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension. Patients with increased waist circumference should be screened to diagnose comorbidities related to the abdominal obesity.
The ability to detect mental disorders varies greatly among general practitioners in primary health care. The aim of this study was to determine the factors underlying the differences between general practitioners in the ability to recognize mental disorders in Finnish patient populations. The group studied consisted of 1000 randomly selected adult patients of primary care facilities in the city of Turku. The Symptom Checklist (SCL-25) was used as the reference method in the identification of psychiatric cases. According to the SCL-25, one fourth of the sample had mental disorders. A good recognition ability was associated with postgraduate psychiatric training and qualification as a specialist in general practice. Surprisingly, Balint group training, which is a method intended to improve the ability of general practitioners to manage their patients' mental health problems, was associated rather with poor than good detection ability.
BACKGROUND: Educational outreach visits, particularly when combined with social marketing, appear to be a promising approach to modifying health professional behaviour, especially prescribing. Results from previous studies have shown a varying effect. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of academic detailing as a method of implementing a clinical guideline in general practice. METHODS: A cluster randomized, controlled, blinded study was carried out of the effect of an academic detail visit compared with postal distribution of a guideline for prescribing asthma medication. Half the practices in a Danish county with 100 practices were visited once. The outcome measure was routinely collected data from all Danish pharmacies on the sales of asthma medication. Data were collected monthly for 2 years before to 1 year after the intervention. RESULTS: There was no effect on the pattern of prescription of asthma medicines following the visit, neither immediately nor long term. CONCLUSION: We found no effect of academic detailing as a single intervention.
To develop and test the long-term feasibility of an interdisciplinary independent drug information service providing both written and oral drug information to physicians in an urban area of Sweden (> 400,000 inhabitants).
A drug information service was developed encouraging a cooperative approach between a department of clinical pharmacology, general practitioners (GPs), pharmacists, and Drug and Therapeutic Committees. Scientifically-based drug information was condensed and interpreted by a team and presented in both written and oral form. In one part of the area, both oral and written information was provided, while in another part of the area, only written information was distributed. Questionnaires and one prescription survey were performed to elucidate the knowledge and attitudes of the GPs regarding drug treatment of one condition (urinary tract infection, UTI, and norfloxacin were used as examples), as well as their opinion of our services.
Over a period of 10 years, 75 issues of a drug bulletin (2000 copies) were distributed. Oral producer-independent drug information, provided jointly by a GP and a pharmacist, was given on 16 occasions in each of 30 health centres (150 GPs). Around 80% of the GPs participated in the meetings. Of these GPs, 75% found the service important for their daily work. A majority of the GPs had prescribed the test drug, norfloxacin, not a first-line drug according to local recommendations, 1 year after approval. A significantly lower proportion of prescribers were observed in the area where the GPs had been provided with both written and oral information regarding recommended treatment (including first-line drugs) for uncomplicated cystitis. The approximate cost for this service in 1995 was SEK 0.685 million (USD 0.1 million); the prescribing costs of the 150 GPs were estimated at SEK 255 million per year. This means that the cost of the service per GP is only around 0.3% of normal prescribing costs.
Over a period of 10 years the information/education method described here has proven sustainable and feasible in terms of providing the information, regarding participation of the target group GPs in the oral sessions, and regarding integration of the service into the existing health care system.