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Diagnostic and treatment barriers to persistent somatic symptoms in primary care – representative survey with physicians, 2021, Lehmann et al

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Andy, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    Hampshire, UK

    Many patients consult their primary care physician with persistent somatic symptoms such as pain or sickness. Quite often these consultations and further diagnostic measures yield no medical explanation for the symptoms – patients and physicians are left in uncertainty. In fact, diagnostic and treatment barriers in primary care hinder timely health-care provision for patients suffering from persistent somatic symptoms (PSS). The significance of individual barriers is still unknown. We compare and quantify these barriers from the perspective of primary care physicians and identify subpopulations of primary care physicians who experience particular barriers as most severe.

    We mailed a questionnaire to primary care physicians (PCP) in Germany and asked them which barriers they consider most important. We invited a random sample of 12,004 primary care physicians in eight federal states in Germany. Physicians provided anonymous mailed or online responses. We also mailed a postcard to announce the survey and a mail reminder. Main measures were Likert rating scales of items relating to barriers in the diagnosis and treatment of PSS in primary care. Information on demography and medical practice were also collected.

    We analyzed 1719 data sets from 1829 respondents. PCPs showed strongest agreement with statements regarding (1.) their lack of knowledge about treatment guidelines, (2.) their perceptions that patients with PSS would expect symptom relief, (3.) their concern to overlook physical disease in these patients, and (4.) their usage of psychotropic drugs with these patients. More experienced PCPs were better able to cope with the possibility of overlooking physical disease than those less experienced.

    The PCPs in our survey answered that the obligation to rule out severe physical disease and the demand to relieve patients from symptoms belong to the most severe barriers for adequate treatment and diagnosis. Moreover, many physicians admitted to not knowing the appropriate treatment guidelines for these patients. Based on our results, raising awareness of guidelines and improving knowledge about the management of persistent somatic symptoms appear to be promising approaches for overcoming the barriers to diagnosis and treatment of persistent somatic symptoms in primary care.

    Open access, https://bmcfampract.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12875-021-01397-w
    Milo and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  2. alktipping

    alktipping Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    the true barriers are to patients . patients can never receive good quality care while morons keep using somatisation as a propaganda tool to deny the patient access to better qualified members of the medical profession .self serving people with income based on denial of chronic health conditions are dragging medicine back to the dark ages . the fact that many doctors are so poorly equipped to weed out piss poor papers is still a huge shock to many people including myself . there are major failings in medical teaching if so many doctors believe the incredibly low quality papers pumped out by friends of the insurance industry .
  3. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    alktipping, Peter Trewhitt and Andy like this.

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