Primary Care (primary + care)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Terms modified by Primary Care

  • primary care clinic
  • primary care clinician
  • primary care consultation
  • primary care doctor
  • primary care evaluation
  • primary care groups
  • primary care mental health
  • primary care nurse
  • primary care organisation
  • primary care organization
  • primary care patient
  • primary care physician
  • primary care population
  • primary care practice
  • primary care practitioner
  • primary care provider
  • primary care services
  • primary care setting
  • primary care staff
  • primary care system
  • primary care team
  • primary care trust
  • primary care worker

  • Selected Abstracts

    Working in partnership , developing a young people's service in a rural environment

    M. Mitchell
    Specific objective, The Project reviewed , The Provision of Services for Early Psychosis in Cornwall. It looked at staff feedback, user and carers' views, base line assessment and National Guidelines of Best Practice, and proposed significant changes to meet the needs of young people. Method, The Review was carried out under the auspices of the National Clinical Governance Team and used as its framework the RAID model of change. Results, This resulted in a series of recommendations, which informed new developments. Current initiatives include a Health Promotion Programme, Training Strategies in Primary Care and effective partnerships with young people's services. Conclusions, It proposes significant changes to the correct system of care by working outside the traditional healthcare settings and across the service boundaries of health, education and social care. The rurality of Cornwall provides a considerable challenge for service delivery. This review ensured that ownership rested with users, careers, staff and others who contributed and shaped its future direction. [source]

    Integrating Complementary Therapies in Primary Care.

    A Practical Guide for Health Professionals

    Herbal Medicine in Primary Care

    E Ernst

    Listening as Work in Primary Care

    Daniel R. Longo
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Use of Outpatient Care in Veterans Health Administration and Medicare among Veterans Receiving Primary Care in Community-Based and Hospital Outpatient Clinics

    Chuan-Fen Liu
    Objective. To examine differences in use of Veterans Health Administration (VA) and Medicare outpatient services by VA primary care patients. Data Sources/Study Setting. VA administrative and Medicare claims data from 2001 to 2004. Study Design. Retrospective cohort study of outpatient service use by 8,964 community-based and 6,556 hospital-based VA primary care patients. Principal Findings. A significant proportion of VA patients used Medicare-reimbursed primary care (>30 percent) and specialty care (>60 percent), but not mental health care (3,4 percent). Community-based patients had 17 percent fewer VA primary care visits (p<.001), 9 percent more Medicare-reimbursed visits (p<.001), and 6 percent fewer total visits (p<.05) than hospital-based patients. Community-based patients had 22 percent fewer VA specialty care visits (p<.0001) and 21 percent more Medicare-reimbursed specialty care visits (p<.0001) than hospital-based patients, but no difference in total visits (p=.80). Conclusions. Medicare-eligible VA primary care patients followed over 4 consecutive years used significant primary care and specialty care outside of VA. Community-based patients offset decreased VA use with increased service use paid by Medicare, suggesting that increasing access to VA primary care via community clinics may fragment veteran care in unintended ways. Coordination of care between VA and non-VA providers and health care systems is essential to improve the quality and continuity of care. [source]

    Differential Diagnosis in Primary Care, 3rd edition

    Tessa Dunseath
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Geriatric Oncology and Primary Care: Promoting Partnerships in Practice and Research

    Julia Hannum Rose PhD
    This supplement is a compilation of original work that was presented at an interdisciplinary conference on "Geriatric Oncology and Primary Care: Promoting Partnerships in Practice and Research" held in Cleveland, Ohio, April 3 to 4, 2008. An audience of 77 clinicians and researchers attended this conference, primarily coming from Ohio and adjacent states. Articles are organized around a conceptual framework to consider primary and shared care roles of primary care physicians (PCPs) and oncologists in the care of older patients with cancer and their families. Articles in Section One focus on evidence-based clinical practice and recommendations. Section Two includes articles on original psychosocial and health services research that inform this topic. Papers in this conference were developed in recognition of the greater prevalence and growing incidence of cancer in older adults; the unique geriatric expertise and practice considerations essential to the prevention and control of cancer in older adults; the important and effective roles that PCPs may play in such care; and the need to develop shared care models that foster collaboration between PCPs and oncologists, from cancer prevention through long-term survivorship and end-of-life care of older adults. Models of shared care between oncologists and PCPs should be tested and compared for optimal care of older patients with cancer and their families. Potential implications of ideally shared care include more-informed patient-centered decision-making, better adherence to treatment, improved match between older patient goals and treatments, and thus better outcomes. [source]

    Two-Minute Mental Health Care for Elderly Patients: Inside Primary Care Visits

    (See editorial comments by Drs. Charles Reynolds, Bruce L. Rollman), Carrie Farmer Teh, Mario Cruz
    OBJECTIVES: To assess how care is delivered for mental disorders using videotapes of office visits involving elderly patients. DESIGN: Mixed-method observational analysis of the nature of the topics discussed, content of discussion, and the time spent on mental health. SETTINGS: Three types of settings: an academic medical center, a managed care group, and fee-for-service solo practitioners. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-five primary care physicians and 366 of their elderly patients. MEASUREMENTS: Videotapes of 385 visits covering 2,472 diverse topics were analyzed. Coding of the videotapes identified topics, determined talk time, and coded the dynamics of talk. RESULTS: Mental health topics occurred in 22% of visits, although patient survey indicated that 50% of the patients were depressed. A typical mental health discussion lasted approximately 2 minutes. Qualitative analysis suggested wide variations in physician effort in providing mental health care. Referrals to mental health specialists were rare even for severely depressed and suicidal patients. CONCLUSION: Little time is spent on mental health care for elderly patients despite heavy disease burdens. Standards of care based on a count of visits "during which a mental health problem is discussed" may need to be supplemented with guidelines about what should happen during the visit. System-level interventions are needed. [source]

    Effect of Telephone Counseling on Physical Activity for Low-Active Older People in Primary Care: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

    Gregory S. Kolt PhD
    OBJECTIVES: To assess the long-term effectiveness of a telephone counseling intervention on physical activity and health-related quality of life in low-active older adults recruited through their primary care physician. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial. SETTING: Three primary care practices from different socioeconomic regions of Auckland, New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and eighty-six low-active adults (aged 65) recruited from their primary care physicians' patient databases. INTERVENTION: Eight telephone counseling sessions over 12 weeks based on increasing physical activity. Control patients received usual care. MEASUREMENTS: Change in physical activity (as measured using the Auckland Heart Study Physical Activity Questionnaire) and quality of life (as measured using the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36)) over a 12-month period. RESULTS: Moderate leisure physical activity increased by 86.8 min/wk more in the intervention group than in the control group (P=.007). More participants in the intervention group reached 2.5 hours of moderate or vigorous leisure physical activity per week after 12 months (42% vs 23%, odds ratio=2.9, 95% confidence interval=1.33,6.32, P=.007). No differences on SF-36 measures were observed between the groups at 12 months. CONCLUSION: Telephone-based physical activity counseling is effective at increasing physical activity over 12 months in previously low-active older adults. [source]

    Reducing Suicidal Ideation in Depressed Older Primary Care Patients

    Jürgen Unützer MD
    OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of a primary care,based collaborative care program for depression on suicidal ideation in older adults. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial. SETTING: Eighteen diverse primary care clinics. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand eight hundred one adults aged 60 and older with major depression or dysthymia. INTERVENTION: Participants randomized to collaborative care had access to a depression care manager who supported antidepressant medication management prescribed by their primary care physician and offered a course of Problem Solving Treatment in Primary Care for 12 months. Participants in the control arm received care as usual. MEASUREMENTS: Participants had independent assessments of depression and suicidal ideation at baseline and 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Depression was assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (SCID). Suicidal ideation was determined using the SCID and the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist. RESULTS: At baseline, 139 (15.3%) intervention subjects and 119 (13.3%) controls reported thoughts of suicide. Intervention subjects had significantly lower rates of suicidal ideation than controls at 6 months (7.5% vs 12.1%) and 12 months (9.8% vs 15.5%) and even after intervention resources were no longer available at 18 months (8.0% vs 13.3%) and 24 months (10.1% vs 13.9%). There were no completed suicides in either group. Information on suicide attempts or hospitalization for suicidal ideation was not available. CONCLUSION: Primary care,based collaborative care programs for depression represent one strategy to reduce suicidal ideation and potentially the risk of suicide in older primary care patients. [source]

    A Multidisciplinary Program for Delivering Primary Care to the Underserved Urban Homebound: Looking Back, Moving Forward

    Kristofer L. Smith BA
    The coming decades will see a dramatic rise in the number of homebound adults. These individuals will have multiple medical conditions requiring a team of caregivers to provide adequate care. Home-based primary care (HBPC) programs can coordinate and provide such multidisciplinary care. Traditionally, though, HBPC programs have been small because there has been little institutional support for growth. Three residents developed the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors (MSVD) program in 1995 to provide multidisciplinary care to homebound patients in East Harlem, New York. Over the past 10 years, the program has grown substantially to 12 primary care providers serving more than 1,000 patients per year. The program has met many of its original goals, such as helping patients to live and die at home, decreasing caregiver burden, creating a home-based primary care training experience, and becoming a research leader. These successes and growth have been the result of careful attention to providing high-quality care, obtaining hospital support through the demonstration of an overall positive cost,benefit profile, and securing departmental and medical school support by shouldering significant teaching responsibilities. The following article will detail the development of the program and the current provision of services. The MSVD experience offers a model of growth for faculty and institutions interested in starting or expanding a HBPC program. [source]

    Identifying the Activities Affected by Chronic Nonmalignant Pain in Older Veterans Receiving Primary Care

    Bao D. Duong MD
    Objectives: To identify the specific types of activities affected by chronic pain in older persons and the extent to which older individuals modify, perform less frequently, or terminate activities because of pain. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Primary care practice at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New England. Participants: Two hundred forty-four patients (aged 65,90) with chronic nonmalignant pain. Measurements: Open-ended questions were used to identify the activities affected by pain; participants' responses were subsequently organized into distinct categories (e.g., climbing stairs under higher-order physical activities and going out to dinner under social/recreational activities). Participants were also asked to indicate whether they had modified, performed less frequently, or terminated these activities because of pain. Results: Participants had a mean age±standard deviation of 75.4±5.2, were mostly male (84%), and had an average pain intensity score of 6.2±1.9 on a 0- to 10-scale. Two hundred three participants (83%) reported that pain affected one or more higher-order physical activities, and the corresponding percentages for the categories of social/recreational activities, instrumental activities of daily living, and basic activities of daily living were 74%, 57%, and 3%, respectively. The proportions of participants who modified, performed less frequently, or terminated one or more activities because of pain were 71%, 69%, and 22%, respectively. Conclusion: Assessing the effects of chronic pain across multiple functional domains is indicated in older primary care patients, particularly higher-order physical and social/recreational activities. Inquiring about whether the activities are modified, reduced, or terminated may also help to expand understanding of pain-related disability in older persons. [source]

    Depression Treatment in a Sample of 1,801 Depressed Older Adults in Primary Care

    Jürgen Unützer MD
    OBJECTIVES: To examine rates and predictors of lifetime and recent depression treatment in a sample of 1,801 depressed older primary care patients DESIGN: Cross sectional survey data collected from 1999 to 2001 as part of a treatment effectiveness trial. SETTING: Eighteen primary care clinics belonging to eight organizations in five states. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand eight hundred one clinic users aged 60 and older who met diagnostic criteria for major depression or dysthymia. MEASUREMENTS: Lifetime depression treatment was defined as ever having received a prescription medication, counseling, or psychotherapy for depression. Potentially effective recent depression treatment was defined as 2 or more months of antidepressant medications or four or more sessions of counseling or psychotherapy for depression in the past 3 months. RESULTS: The mean age ± standard deviation was 71.2 ± 7.5; 65% of subjects were women. Twenty-three percent of the sample came from ethnic minority groups (12% were African American, 8% were Latino, and 3% belonged to other ethnic minorities). The median household income was $23,000. Most study participants (83%) reported depressive symptoms for 2 or more years, and most (71%) reported two or more prior depressive episodes. About 65% reported any lifetime depression treatment, and 46% reported some depression treatment in the past 3 months, although only 29% reported potentially effective recent depression treatment. Most of the treatment provided consisted of antidepressant medications, with newer antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors constituting the majority (78%) of antidepressants used. Most participants indicated a preference for counseling or psychotherapy over antidepressant medications, but only 8% had received such treatment in the past 3 months, and only 1% reported four or more sessions of counseling. Men, African Americans, Latinos, those without two or more prior episodes of depression, and those who preferred counseling to antidepressant medications reported significantly lower rates of depression care. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that there is considerable opportunity to improve care for older adults with depression. Particular efforts should be focused on improving access to depression care for older men, African Americans, Latinos, and patients who prefer treatments other than antidepressants. [source]

    Current approaches to obesity management in UK Primary Care: the Counterweight Programme

    The Counterweight Project Team
    Abstract Background/Aims Primary care is expected to develop strategies to manage obese patients as part of coronary heart disease and diabetes national service frameworks. Little is known about current management practices for obesity in this setting. The aim of this study is to examine current approaches to obesity management in UK primary care and to identify potential gaps in care. Method A total of 141 general practitioners (GPs) and 66 practice nurses (PNs) from 40 primary care practices participated in structured interviews to examine clinician self-reported approaches to obesity management. Medical records were also reviewed for 100 randomly selected obese patients from each practice [body mass index (BMI) ,30 kg m,2, n = 4000] to review rates of diet counselling, dietetic or obesity centre referrals, and use of anti-obesity medication. Computerized medical records for the total practice population (n = 206 341, 18,75 years) were searched to examine the proportion of patients with a weight/BMI ever recorded. Results Eighty-three per cent of GPs and 97% of PNs reported that they would raise weight as an issue with obese patients (P < 0.01). Few GPs (15%) reported spending up to 10 min in a consultation discussing weight-related issues, compared with PNs (76%; P < 0.001). Over 18 months, practice-based diet counselling (20%), dietetic (4%) and obesity centre (1%) referrals, and any anti-obesity medication (2%) were recorded. BMI was recorded for 64.2% of patients and apparent prevalence of obesity was less than expected. Conclusion Obesity is under-recognized in primary care even in these 40 practices with an interest in weight management. Weight management appears to be based on brief opportunistic intervention undertaken mainly by PNs. While clinicians report the use of external sources of support, few patients are referred, with practice-based counselling being the most common intervention. [source]

    Health care managers' perspectives on new nursing and midwifery roles: perceived impact on patient care and cost effectiveness

    Adv Dip Ed RNT, BSc(Hons), DPhil, DipN(Lond), FRCSI, HUGH McKENNA CBE
    Aims, The aim of this study was to explore new nursing and midwifery roles and associated levels of practice from the health care providers' perspective. This paper will present findings relating to the perceived cost effectiveness of these roles and their impact on patient care. Background, Profound changes in the way the health care systems are organized, managed and financed have resulted in the proliferation of new nursing and midwifery roles. However, the evidence base for these workforce developments is limited, especially with regard to health care providers' perspectives on cost effectiveness and patient outcomes. Method, Qualitative interviews were carried out with all Directors of Nursing in the 18 Health and Social Services (HSS) Trusts and the Chief Nurses and Directors of Primary Care in the four HSS Boards in Northern Ireland. Results, Key findings were as follows: there was widespread support for the development of these roles, they are perceived to have a positive impact on patient care; however, the need for support was recognized to ensure the continuation of such roles. Securing funding was problematic and this was influential on the kind of new roles that were developed. Implications for Nursing Management, Issues relating to effective implementation and the need for further research into the efficacy and effectives of such initiatives is required. [source]

    National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services: Key Issues for Primary Care

    Jacob Urkin MD

    Communication Skills That Heal Listening as Work in Primary Care


    Obesity in Youth: Implications for the Advanced Practice Nurse in Primary Care

    C-ANP, Diane Berry PhD
    Purpose To discuss the advanced practice nurse's diagnosis and management of obesity in youth in primary care. Data Sources Review of current scientific literature, practice guidelines, and a case study. Conclusions Obesity in youth is difficult to manage. Recent research suggests a genetic and environmental etiology associated with impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hypertriglyceridemia. Nutrition education, increasing physical activity, decreasing sedentary behaviors, and behavioral modification have been used with varying success. Management is directed at healthy lifestyle behavior change for youth and their families. Implications for Practice If obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertriglyceridemia are left untreated, youth may develop type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease later in life and suffer early morbidity and mortality. [source]

    A Unique Set of Interactions: The MSU Sustained Partnership Model of Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

    FNP Assistant Professor, Katherine Dontje MSN
    Purpose To present a unified conceptual model that identifies the integral processes of nurse practitioner (NP) care delivery and that integrates major structural influences and potential outcomes. The model is further characterized to delineate the unique and "value-added" nature of NP primary care and to describe how this nature may be correlated with specific clinical outcomes. Data Sources Extensive review of the literature, relevant conceptual models, clinical experiences of the authors, and two sets of qualitative data exploring differences between NP practice and other practices. Conclusions The basis of NP primary care is the unique provider-client relationship that develops within the primary care setting. This relationship is oriented toward (a) helping clients become empowered to more appropriately manage their own care in a way that will best meet their needs, (b) encouraging mutual decision making, (c) ensuring clients' continuity of care, and (d) providing a holistic approach to primary care. The major structural influences are NP role components, interdisciplinary practice relationships, budget resources and payer mix, and environmental characteristics. The potential outcomes are increased healthpromoting behaviors, improved utilization of care, higher client satisfaction levels, and improved health status. Implications for Practice NPs can use this model to articulate the unique contribution of NP practice and its interrelationships within the broader primary care setting. Practicing NPs can use this framework to better understand the complexities of their current and future primary care practices. Faculty can utilize the concepts to help guide students' understanding of their prospective roles as advanced practice nurses. Finally, this conceptual framework can inform research about specific NP processes and related outcomes. A clearly delineated model that accurately depicts structures, processes, and outcomes relevant to NP primary care can strengthen NP education, distinguish NP practice, and advance evidenced-based research linking NP practice and outcomes. [source]

    The Importance of Screening, Assessing, and Managing Urinary Incontinence in Primary Care

    FAANArticle first published online: 24 MAY 200, Mikel Gray PhD
    Purpose To present evidence that routine screening for urinary incontinence is justified because it is a clinically relevant and prevalent disorder that responds to treatment, resulting in improved outcomes for many patients managed by the nurse practitioner (NP). Data Source Selected scientific literature. Conclusions The prevalence of urinary incontinence and success of treatment options justify routine screening, individualized assessment, and treatment. Implications for Practice Routine screening for urinary incontinence by NPs is uncommon. Based on the relative risk, the potential success of treatment and improved quality-of-life outcomes after treat-ment, NPs should regularly screen and assess for incontinence. [source]

    Developing an Economic IQ in Primary Care

    Elizabeth Abel PhD, FAANP, RNC-FNP
    Purpose To describe elements of an economic intelligence quotient (IQ) that can be used to enhance the nurse practitioner's (NP) fiscal viability in a primary care setting. Data Sources Anecdotal data from providers and administrators; clinical experiences of the authors; scientific and government publications and guidelines. Conclusions In the United States, managed care cost-containment initiatives have led to competition among physicians and NPs for patients and jobs. An understanding of the economic base of a practice is essential to fiscal viability in this market. Practice Implications When turf and job competition are the norm, it is essential that the NP develop an economic IQ. Knowledge of coding, billing, reimbursement, and documentation are critical to identifying the NP's value to the practice and promoting job retention. The challenge is for the NP to give high-quality, cost-effective, and safe patient care and to be a productive provider. [source]

    Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Testing Decision-Making for Women in Primary Care: Role of Context

    Kathleen J. H. Sparbel

    Feasibility and Acceptability of Providing Nurse Counsellor Genetics Clinics in Primary Care

    Greta Westwood
    Increasing referrals to specialist genetics services have precipitated a review of models of service delivery in the United Kingdom. Little is known about whether a change in clinic location is feasible or acceptable for the patients seen. We consider the feasibility of genetics service development and delivery in primary care and develop a questionnaire to evaluate acceptability and cost to patients. Between July 2003 and May 2004, 64 primary care appointments with a genetics nurse counsellor were offered to patients referred and registered with selected general practices. 45 (79%) patients attended their appointment and 34 (77%) returned their follow-up questionnaire. Total mean satisfaction score was high and patients were most satisfied with the information and affective domains of the appointment. 48% of patients seen by the genetics nurse counselor remained in primary care. Patients were satisfied with the travel time and distance to clinic and patient clinic costs were limited. This study shows that patients do attend genetics nurse counselor clinics in primary care, and are satisfied with the new location. A large cluster randomized controlled trial is now being conducted to obtain a controlled comparison of acceptability to patients of attending clinics in primary vs. secondary care settings. [source]

    Safe Prescribing Habits: Preventing Medication Errors in Primary Care

    Julie Freund PharmD
    First page of article [source]

    Primary Care and Health Services Section: An Opportunity for Pain Medicine and Primary Care to Come Together

    PAIN MEDICINE, Issue 5 2008
    Matthew J. Bair MD
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Overcoming Fears, Frustrations, and Competing Demands: An Effective Integration of Pain Medicine and Primary Care to Treat Complex Pain Patients

    PAIN MEDICINE, Issue 7 2007
    Matthew J. Bair MD
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Pain Management in Primary Care: What Is the Role for Pain Medicine?

    PAIN MEDICINE, Issue 2 2002
    MPH Editor-in-Chief, Rollin M. Gallagher MD
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Problem-Solving Treatment for Complicated Depression in Late Life: A Case Study in Primary Care

    Rita Haverkamp MSN
    TOPIC Treatment of depression in primary care. PURPOSE To describe the application of problem-solving treatment for a person with complicated depression. SOURCES Specific treatment details from audiotaped therapy sessions; published literature. CONCLUSION This case demonstrates how an older person benefited from problem-solving treatment. [source]

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    PRESCRIBER, Issue 5 2008
    Article first published online: 3 APR 200
    Newer antidepressants no better than placebo? A new meta-analysis suggests that newer antidepressants are no superior to placebo in most patients with depression , the exception being those with very severe depression, who can expect a small benefit. Writing in the online-only open access journal PLoS Medicine (5:e45.doi:10.1371/ journal.pmed.0050045), researchers from Hull and the US analysed published and unpublished trials submitted to the Food and Drug Administration in marketing applications for fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine (Efexor) and nefazodone (no longer available). Using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) score as an endpoint, meta-analysis of 35 trials involving 5133 patients and lasting six to eight weeks showed that mean HRSD score improved by 9.6 points with drug treatment and 7.8 with placebo. The authors say the difference of 1.8 was statistically significant but below the criterion for clinical significance (3.0) set by NICE in its clinical guideline on depression. A review of the study by the NHS Knowledge Service ( points out that it omits trials published after the drugs were licensed (1999) and those not sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. It did not include any patients with severe depression and only one trial in patients with moderate depression. An earlier US study of data submitted to the FDA (N Eng J Med 2008;358:25260) showed that published trials of antidepressants were more likely to be positive (37/38) than unpublished ones (3/25). Further, FDA analysts concluded that 51 per cent of trials (published and unpublished) demonstrated positive findings compared with 94 per cent of those that were published. Audit reveals variations in hospital psoriasis care There are unacceptably large variations in the quality of care for patients with psoriasis in UK hospitals, a report by the British Association of Dermatologists and the Royal College of Physicians reveals. The audit of 100 hospital units found that 39 per cent restricted access to biological therapies because of cost, and over one-third of pharmacies could not supply ,specials' such as topical coal tar preparations. More positively, the units are adequately resourced to provide timely communication with GPs. RCGP responds to Public Accounts Committee The Royal College of General Practitioners has agreed with the Commons Public Accounts Committee that drug package labelling should include the cost of the medication. The suggestion was made by the Committee in its report Prescribing Costs in Primary Care. While recognising the importance of generic prescribing, the RCGP cautions against frequent medication switches because it may unsettle patients. ,Any changes must be carried out for sound clinical reasons with good communication between GPs and their patients,' it adds. Statins for patients with kidney disease? Statins reduce cardiovascular risk in people with chronic kidney disease, a new study suggests, but their effects on renal function remain unclear (BMJ 2008; published online doi: 10.1136/bmj. 39472.580984.AE). The meta-analysis of 50 trials involving a total of 30 144 patients found that statins reduced lipids and cardiovascular events regardless of the severity of kidney disease. However, all-cause mortality was unaffected and, although proteinuria improved slightly, there was no change in the rate of decline of glomerular filtration rate. An accompanying editorial (BMJ 2008; published online doi:10.1136/ bmj.39483.665139.80) suggests that the indications for statin therapy to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with chronic kidney disease should be the same as for those with normal renal function. New NICE guidance New clinical guidelines from NICE (see New from NICE, pages 14,15) include the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults in primary care, the care and management of osteoarthritis in adults, and the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. In a public health guideline on smoking cessation services, NICE endorses the use of nicotine replacement patches for 12,17 year olds. Suspect additives in children's medicines The Food Commission ( has drawn attention to the presence in children's medicines of food additives it says are linked with hyperactivity. The Commission, a national nonprofit organisation campaigning for ,the right to safe, wholesome food', says that seven common additives (including tartrazine, sodium benzoate and Ponceau 4R) are associated with hyperactivity in susceptible children. Checking the SPCs, it found that 28 of 70 children's medicines , including formulations of paracetamol, ibuprofen, amoxicillin, erythromycin and codeine phosphate throat linctus , contain at least one suspect additive. Digoxin may increase mortality in AF patients An observational study has suggested that digoxin may increase deaths in patients with atrial fibrillation (Heart 2008;94:191,6). The study was a planned subgroup analysis of a trial evaluating anticoagulant therapy in 7329 patients with atrial fibrillation. Of these, 53 per cent were treated with digoxin. Mortality was significantly higher among digoxin users than nonusers (4.22 vs 2.66 per cent per year); myocardial infarction and other vascular deaths (but not stroke, systemic embolic episodes and major bleeding events) were significantly more frequent with digoxin. Poor communications cause readmission Elderly hospital patients are often discharged with inadequate information or arrangements for care, causing almost three-quarters to be readmitted within a week, say investigators from Nottingham (Qual Safety Health Care 2008;17:71,5). Retrospective review of records for 108 consecutive patients aged over 75 found that readmission was related to medication in 38 per cent and, of these, 61 per cent were considered avoidable. Almost two-thirds had no discharge letter or were readmitted before the letter was typed; two-thirds of discharge letters had incomplete documentation of medication changes. Copyright © 2008 Wiley Interface Ltd [source]

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    PRESCRIBER, Issue 3 2008
    Article first published online: 26 FEB 200
    Higher risk of CV events in aspirin resistance More than one in four patients may have aspirin resistance, a new metaanalysis shows, and they face a four-to sixfold increased risk of a major cardiovascular event or death compared with aspirin-sensitive patients taking low-dose aspirin (BMJ online: 17 Jan 2008; doi:10. 1136/bmj.39430.529549.BE). The analysis included 20 studies involving a total of 2930 patients with cardiovascular disease. Of these, 28 per cent were defined as having aspirin resistance (according to the various definitions in each study). Compared with aspirin-sensitive patients, the odds ratio of any cardiovascular event or acute coronary syndrome was about 4 and the odds ratio of death was 6. Aspirin-resistant patients did not benefit from other antiplatelet treatment. ADOPT: rosiglitazone fracture risk in women A new analysis of the ADOPT trial (N Engl J Med 2006;355: 2427-43) has found that the risk of fractures during treatment with rosiglitazone (Avandia) is approximately twice as high as with metformin or glibenclamide, but mainly in women (Diabetes Care online: 25 Jan 2008; doi: 10.2337/dc07-2270). The study found a significant difference in risk between the drugs only for women, with a cumulative incidence of 15.1 per cent with rosiglitazone, 7.3 per cent with metformin and 7.7 per cent with glibenclamide after five years. No risk factors were identified although the incidence of fractures was higher among postmenopausal than premenopausal women. New from NICE Infliximab for the treatment of adults with psoriasis. Technology Appraisal Guidance No. 134, Jan 2008 Infliximab (Remicade), a monoclonal antibody against TNF-alpha, should be an option for treating very severe plaque psoriasis in adults, NICE recommends. Using its fast-track single technology appraisal procedure, NICE concluded that infliximab should be considered when standard therapies,methotrexate or ciclosporin (Neoral), or PUVA , have failed or are unsuitable. The criteria for disease severity are defined by the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score (,20) and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) score (>18). Treatment response is also defined by these measures and infliximab should be continued for longer than 10 weeks only when predefined thresholds are met. Infliximab costs an average of £11 750 annually. In 2006, NICE recommended etanercept (Enbrel) and efalizumab (Raptiva) for patients with severe psoriasis (PASI ,10 and DLQI >10). Commons committee wants tougher targets Most GPs get full QOF points for medicines management even though there is inexplicably large variation in good prescribing practice between PCTs, the Public Accounts Select Committee points out in its latest report, Prescribing Costs in Primary Care. The Committee wants to see tougher QOF targets among several initiatives to reduce prescribing costs. Although most publicity centred on its endorsement of the National Audit Office claim that GPs could save £200 million by prescribing lower-cost drugs, the report contains some more far-reaching proposals. GPs should prescribe generic alternatives within a therapeutic category, so when a brand is not available generically, eg Lipitor, a different drug that is, eg simvastatin, should be used when clinically appropriate. Further, this form of substitution should be rewarded via QOF targets. There should be greater uniformity in the appearance, labelling and packaging of generic and branded equivalents. The Department of Health should consider raising awareness of the value of medicines by printing the cost on packaging, and to reduce the £100 million wasted annually in dumped medicines, it should investigate which drugs aren't used and why patients won't take them. Strategic health authorities should work with the National Prescribing Centre to develop more prescribing indicators with which to measure PCT performance and support PCTs to promulgate best practice. They should also collaborate on promoting joint primary-secondary care formularies and increase the consistency of prescribing, not only between hospital specialists and GPs but also between PCTs. To monitor the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, PCTs should keep a record of gifts and hospitality and publish a register. Questions to ask about mental health treatment The Department of Health has published a booklet designed to raise awareness of medicines management issues affecting people using mental health services and their carers, and professionals in the health and social services. Although one aim of Medicines Management: Everybody's Business is to empower people with mental health problems to ask about their medication, its formal style is better suited to staff who need to improve their person-centred approach to care. It covers what information people should expect and what questions to ask when drug treatment is being considered, what to expect at review and issues to consider when contemplating stopping treatment. Copies can be downloaded at Consider statins for all patients with diabetes Treatment with a statin should be considered for all patients with diabetes unless their risk is low, say the authors of a new study (Lancet 2008;371:117-25). Their meta-analysis of 14 randomised trials involving 18 686 people with diabetes and an average follow-up of 4.3 years found that statins reduced vascular events and vascular mortality as much as in nondiabetic populations. The overall benefit was 42 fewer major events per 1000 people treated for five years. This was independent of a history of vascular disease or other baseline characteristics. No evidence for OTC cough medicines There is no evidence that over-the-counter cough medicines for adults and children are effective in relieving acute cough, a new Cochrane review has concluded (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1). The review of 17 randomised trials involving 2876 adults and eight involving 616 children reported conflicting findings of uncertain clinical relevance. The trials were heterogeneous and of low quality. Copyright © 2008 Wiley Interface Ltd [source]