ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION A Survey of General Practice Physicians Christopher M. Williams, MAppSc; Christopher G. Maher, PhD; Mark J. Hancock, PhD; James H. McAuley, PhD; Andrew J. McLachlan, PhD; Helena Britt, PhD; Salma Fahridin, MHSc; Christopher Harrison, MSocHlth; Jane Latimer, PhD Background: Acute low back pain (LBP) is primarily imaging. Guidelines recommend that initial care should managed in general practice. We aimed to describe the focus on advice and simple analgesics, yet only 20.5% usual care provided by general practitioners (GPs) and and 17.7% of patients received these treatments, respec- to compare this with recommendations of best practice tively. Instead, the analgesics provided were typically non- in international evidence-based guidelines for the man- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (37.4%) and opioids agement of acute LBP. (19.6%). This pattern of care was the same in the peri- ods before and after the release of the local guideline. Methods: Care provided in 3533 patient visits to GPs for a new episode of LBP was mapped to key recommenda- Conclusions: The usual care provided by GPs for LBP tions in treatment guidelines. The proportion of patient en- does not match the care endorsed in international evi- counters in which care arranged by a GP aligned
JAMA Internal Medicine – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 8, 2010
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