Prospectively collected characteristics of adult patients, their consultations and outcomes as they report breathlessness when presenting to general practice in Australia

Currow, David C., Clark, Katherine, Mitchell, Geoffrey K., Johnson, Miriam J. and Abernethy, Amy P. (2013) Prospectively collected characteristics of adult patients, their consultations and outcomes as they report breathlessness when presenting to general practice in Australia. PLoS One, 8 9: e74814.1-e74814.7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074814


Author Currow, David C.
Clark, Katherine
Mitchell, Geoffrey K.
Johnson, Miriam J.
Abernethy, Amy P.
Title Prospectively collected characteristics of adult patients, their consultations and outcomes as they report breathlessness when presenting to general practice in Australia
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2013-09-17
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0074814
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Issue 9
Start page e74814.1
End page e74814.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction Breathlessness is a subjective sensation, so understanding its impacts requires patients’ reports, including prospective patient-defined breathlessness as a reason for presenting to general practitioners (GP).The aim of this study was to define the prevalence of breathlessness as a reason for GP consultations while defining the clinico-demographic factors of these patients and the characteristics and outcomes of those consultations.

Methods Using nine years of the Family Medicine Research Centre database of 100 consecutive encounters from 1,000 practices annually, the patient-defined reason for encounter ‘breathlessness’ was explored using prospectively collected data in people ≥18 years with clinical data coded using the International Classification for Primary Care V2. Dichotomous variables were analysed using chi square and 95% confidence intervals calculated using Kish’s formula for a single stage clustered design.

Results Of all the 755,729 consultations collected over a nine year period from 1 April, 2000, 7255 included breathlessness as a reason for encounter (0.96%; 95% CI 0.93 to 0.99) most frequently attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Only 48.3% of GPs saw someone reporting breathlessness. The proportion of consultations with breathlessness increased with age. Breathlessness trebled the likelihood that the consultation occurred in the community rather than the consulting room (p<0.0001) and increased 2.5 fold the likelihood of urgent referral to hospital (p<0.0001). Of those with breathlessness, 12% had undiagnosed breathlessness at the end of the consultation (873/7255) with higher likelihood of being younger females.

Discussion Breathlessness is a prevalent symptom in general practitioner. Such prevalence enables future research focused on understanding the temporal pattern of breathlessness and the longitudinal care offered to, and outcomes for these patients, including those who leave the consultation without a diagnosis.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Discipline of General Practice Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 09 Oct 2013, 14:15:20 EST by Shani Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine