Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-8 (8)

Clipboard (0)
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Low hospital admission rates for respiratory diseases in children 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:76.
Population-based data on hospital admissions for children aged 0-17 years concerning all respiratory diseases are scarce. This study examined hospital admissions in relation to the preceding consultations in general practice in this age group.
Data on children aged 0-17 years with respiratory diseases included in the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice (DNSGP-2) were linked to all hospital admissions in the Dutch National Medical Registration. Admission rates for respiratory diseases were calculated. Data were analysed using multivariate logistic regression.
Of all 79,272 children within the DNSGP-2, 1.8% were admitted to hospital for any respiratory diagnosis. The highest admission rates per 1000 children were for chronic disease of tonsils and adenoids (12.9); pneumonia and influenza (0.97); and asthma (0.92). Children aged 0-4 years and boys were admitted more frequently. Of children with asthma, 2.3% were admitted for respiratory diseases. For asthma, admission rates varied by urbanisation level: 0.47/1000 children/year in cities with ≤ 30,000 inhabitants, 1.12 for cities with ≥ 50,000 inhabitants, and 1.73 for the three largest cities (p = 0.002). Multivariate logistic regression showed that within two weeks after a GP consultation, younger age (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.76-0.88) and more severe respiratory diseases (5.55, 95% CI 2.99-8.11) predicted hospital admission.
Children in the general population with respiratory diseases (especially asthma) had very low hospital admission rates. In urban regions children were more frequently admitted due to respiratory morbidity. For effectiveness studies in a primary care setting, hospital admission rates should not be used as quality end-point.
PMCID: PMC2958964  PMID: 20932339
2.  Optimizing the diagnostic work-up of acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections 
BMC Family Practice  2008;9:64.
Most diagnostic tests for acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) have been previously studied in so-called single-test evaluations. In practice, however, clinicians use more than one test in the diagnostic work-up. Since test results carry overlapping information, results from single-test studies may be confounded. The primary objective of the Amsterdam Cystitis/Urinary Tract Infection Study (ACUTIS) is to determine the (additional) diagnostic value of relevant tests from patient history and laboratory investigations, taking into account their mutual dependencies. Consequently, after suitable validation, an easy to use, multivariable diagnostic rule (clinical index) will be derived.
Women who contact their GP with painful and/or frequent micturition undergo a series of possibly relevant tests, consisting of patient history questions and laboratory investigations. Using urine culture as the reference standard, two multivariable models (diagnostic indices) will be generated: a model which assumes that patients attend the GP surgery and a model based on telephone contact only. Models will be made more robust using the bootstrap. Discrimination will be visualized in high resolution histograms of the posterior UTI probabilities and summarized as 5th, 10th, 25th 50th, 75th, 90th, and 95th centiles of these, Brier score and the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (ROC) with 95% confidence intervals. Using the regression coefficients of the independent diagnostic indicators, a diagnostic rule will be derived, consisting of an efficient set of tests and their diagnostic values.
The course of the presenting complaints is studied using 7-day patient diaries. To learn more about the natural history of UTIs, patients will be offered the opportunity to postpone the use of antibiotics.
We expect that our diagnostic rule will allow efficient diagnosis of UTIs, necessitating the collection of diagnostic indicators with proven added value. GPs may use the rule (preferably after suitable validation) to estimate UTI probabilities for women with different combinations of test results. Finally, in a subcohort, an attempt is made to identify which indicators (including antibiotic treatment) are useful to prognosticate recovery from painful and/or frequent micturition.
PMCID: PMC2607275  PMID: 19063737
3.  Defining frequent attendance in general practice 
BMC Family Practice  2008;9:21.
General practitioners (GPs) or researchers sometimes need to identify frequent attenders (FAs) in order to screen them for unidentified problems and to test specific interventions. We wanted to assess different methods for selecting FAs to identify the most feasible and effective one for use in a general (group) practice.
In the second Dutch National Survey of General Practice, data were collected on 375 899 persons registered with 104 practices. Frequent attendance is defined as the top 3% and 10% of enlisted patients in each one-year age-sex group measured during the study year. We used these two selections as our reference standard. We also selected the top 3% and 10% FAs (90 and 97 percentile) based on four selection methods of diminishing preciseness. We compared the test characteristics of these four methods.
Of all enlisted patients, 24 % did not consult the practice during the study year. The mean number of contacts in the top 10% FAs increased in men from 5.8 (age 15–24 years) to 17.5 (age 64–75 years) and in women from 9.7 to 19.8. In the top 3% of FAs, contacts increased in men from 9.2 to 24.5 and in women from 14 to 27.8.
The selection of FAs becomes more precise when smaller age classes are used. All selection methods show acceptable results (kappa 0.849 – 0.942) except the three group method.
To correctly identify frequent attenders in general practice, we recommend dividing patients into at least three age groups per sex.
PMCID: PMC2373296  PMID: 18412954
4.  Recently enlisted patients in general practice use more health care resources 
BMC Family Practice  2007;8:64.
The continuity of care is one of the cornerstones of general practice. General practitioners find personal relationships with their patients important as they enable them to provide a higher quality of care. A long-lasting relationship with patients is assumed to be a prior condition for attaining this high quality. We studied the differences in use of care between recently enlisted patients and those patients who have been enlisted for a longer period.
104 general practices in the Netherlands participated the study. We performed a retrospective cohort study in which patients who have been enlisted for less than 1 year (n = 10,102) were matched for age, sex and health insurance with patients who have been enlisted for longer in the same general practice. The two cohorts were compared with regard to the number of contacts with the general practice, diagnoses, rate of prescribing, and the referral rate in a year. These variables were chosen as indicators of differences in the use of care.
In the year following their enlistment, a higher percentage of recently enlisted patients had at least one contact with the practice, received a prescription or was referred. They also had a higher probability of receiving a prescription for an antibiotic. Furthermore, they had a higher mean number of contacts and referrals, but not a higher mean number of prescriptions.
Recently enlisted patients used more health care resources in the first year after their enlistment compared to patients enlisted longer. This could not be explained by differences in health.
PMCID: PMC2235863  PMID: 18047642
5.  Do general practitioners adhere to the guideline on infectious conjunctivitis? Results of the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice 
BMC Family Practice  2007;8:54.
In 1996 the guideline 'The Red Eye' was first published by the Dutch College of General Practitioners. The extent to which general practitioners adhere to this guideline is unclear. Recently, data on the management of infectious conjunctivitis by general practitioners became available from the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice. We measured the age-specific incidence of infectious conjunctivitis, described its management by Dutch general practitioners, and then compared these findings with the recommendations made in the guideline.
In 2001, over a 12-month period, data from all patient contacts with 195 general practitioners were taken from electronic medical records. Registration was episode-oriented; all consultations dealing with the same health problem were grouped into disease episodes. Data concerning all episodes of infectious conjunctivitis (ICPC-code F70 and sub codes) were analysed.
Over one year, 5,213 new and recurrent episodes of infectious conjunctivitis were presented to general practitioners from a population of N = 375,899, resulting in an overall incidence rate of 13.9 per 1000 person-years, varying from more than 80/1000 py in children up to one-year old, to less than 12/1000 py in children over the age of 4. Topical ophthalmic ointments were prescribed in 87% of the episodes, of which 80% was antibiotic treatment. Fusidic acid gel was most frequently prescribed (69%). In most episodes general practitioners did not adhere to the guideline.
In 2001, the management of infectious conjunctivitis by Dutch general practitioners was not in accordance with the recommendations of the consensus-based guideline published five years previously, despite its wide distribution. In 2006 this guideline was revised. Its successful implementation requires more than distribution alone. Probably the most effective way to achieve this is by following a model for systemic implementation.
PMCID: PMC2034564  PMID: 17868475
6.  Out-of-hours demand for GP care and emergency services: patients' choices and referrals by general practitioners and ambulance services 
BMC Family Practice  2007;8:46.
Over the last five years, Dutch provision of out-of-hours primary health care has shifted from practice-based services towards large-scale general practitioner (GP) cooperatives. Only few population-based studies have been performed to assess the out-of-hours demand for GP and emergency care, including the referral patterns to the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) by GPs and ambulance services.
During two four-month periods (five-year interval), a prospective cross-sectional study was performed for a Dutch population of 62,000 people. Data were collected on all patient contacts with one GP cooperative and three AEDs bordering the region.
Overall, GPs handled 88% of all out-of-hours contacts (275/1000 inhabitants/year), while the AED dealt with the remaining 12% of contacts (38/1000 inhabitants/year). Within the AED, the self-referrals represented a substantial number of contacts (43%), although within the total out-of-hours demand they only represented 5% of all contacts. Self-referrals were predominantly young adult males presenting with an injury, nineteen percent of whom had a fracture. Compared to self-referrals, patients who were referred by the GP or brought in by the ambulance services were generally older and were more frequently admitted for both injury and non-injury (p < 0.01 for all differences).
The GP cooperative deals with the large majority of out-of-hours problems presented. Within the total demand, self-referrals constitute a stable, yet small group of patients, many of whom seem to have made a reasonable choice to attend the AED. The GPs and the ambulance services appear to be effectively selecting the problems that are presented to the AED.
PMCID: PMC2082275  PMID: 17672915
7.  Nurse telephone triage in out-of-hours GP practice: determinants of independent advice and return consultation 
BMC Family Practice  2006;7:74.
Nowadays, nurses play a central role in telephone triage in Dutch out-of-hours primary care. The percentage of calls that is handled through nurse telephone advice alone (NTAA) appears to vary substantially between GP cooperatives. This study aims to explore which determinants are associated with NTAA and with subsequent return consultations to the GP.
For the ten most frequently presented problems, a two-week follow-up cohort study took place in one cooperative run by 25 GPs and 8 nurses, serving a population of 62,291 people. Random effects logistic regression analysis was used to study the determinants of NTAA and return consultation rates. The effect of NTAA on hospital referral rates was also studied as a proxy for severity of illness.
The mean NTAA rate was 27.5% – ranging from 15.5% to 39.4% for the eight nurses. It was higher during the night (RR 1.63, CI 1.48–1.76) and lower with increasing age (RR 0.96, CI 0.93–0.99, per ten years) or when the patient presented >2 problems (RR 0.65; CI 0.51–0.83). Using cough as reference category, NTAA was highest for earache (RR 1.49; CI 1.18–1.78) and lowest for chest pain (RR 0.18; CI 0.06–0.47). After correction for differences in case mix, significant variation in NTAA between nurses remained (p < 0.001). Return consultations after NTAA were higher after nightly calls (RR 1.23; CI 1.04–1.40). During first return consultations, the hospital referral rate after NTAA was 1.5% versus 3.8% for non-NTAA (difference -2.2%; CI -4.0 to -0.5).
Important inter-nurse variability may indicate differences in perception on tasks and/or differences in skill to handle telephone calls alone. Future research should focus more on modifiable determinants of NTAA rates.
PMCID: PMC1713241  PMID: 17163984
8.  Blood test ordering for unexplained complaints in general practice: the VAMPIRE randomised clinical trial protocol. [ISRCTN55755886] 
BMC Family Practice  2006;7:20.
General practitioners (GPs) frequently order blood tests when they see patients presenting with unexplained complaints. Due to the low prevalence of serious pathology in general practice, the risk of false-positive test results is relatively high. This may result in unnecessary further testing, leading to unfavourable effects such as patient anxiety, high costs, somatisation and morbidity. A policy of watchful waiting is expected to lower both the number of patients to be tested and the risk of false-positive test results, without missing serious pathology. However, many general practitioners experience barriers when trying to postpone blood testing by watchful waiting. The objectives of this study are (1) to determine the accuracy of blood tests in patients presenting with unexplained complaints in terms of detecting pathology, (2) to determine the accuracy of a watchful waiting strategy and (3) to determine the effects of a quality improvement strategy to promote the postponement of blood test ordering by GPs for patients with unexplained complaints.
General practices are randomised over three groups. Group 1 is instructed to order blood tests immediately, group 2 to apply a watchful waiting policy and group 3 also to postpone testing, but supported by our quality improvement strategy. The trial consists of two sub-studies: a diagnostic study at patient level (group 1 versus groups 2 and 3) and a quality improvement study at GP level (group 2 versus group 3). The diagnostic strategy to be used involves of both customary and innovative tests. The quality improvement strategy consists of two small-group meetings and a practice outreach visit. Patient follow-up ends at 12 months after the initial consultation. Primary outcome measures are the accuracy and added value of blood tests for detecting pathology, the effect of a 4-week postponement of test ordering on the blood test characteristics and the quantity of tests ordered. Secondary outcome measures are the course of complaints, quality of life, satisfaction with care, anxiety of patients and practitioners, determinants of physicians' behaviour, health care utilisation and costs.
The innovative aspect of this trial is that it combines a clinical-epidemiological study and a quality of care study.
PMCID: PMC1538993  PMID: 16553955

Results 1-8 (8)