A general practice approach to Bell's palsy

Phan, Nga T., Panizza, Benedict and Wallwork, Benjamin (2016) A general practice approach to Bell's palsy. Australian Family Physician, 45 11: 794-797.

Author Phan, Nga T.
Panizza, Benedict
Wallwork, Benjamin
Title A general practice approach to Bell's palsy
Journal name Australian Family Physician   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-8495
Publication date 2016-11-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 45
Issue 11
Start page 794
End page 797
Total pages 4
Place of publication East Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Language eng
Abstract Background
Formatted abstract
Background: Bell's palsy is characterised by an acute onset of unilateral, lower motor neuron weakness of the facial nerve in the absence of an identifiable cause. Establishing the correct diagnosis is imperative and choosing the correct treatment options can optimise the likelihood of recovery.

Objective: This article summarises our understanding of Bell's palsy and the evidence-based management options available for adult patients.

Discussion: The basic assessment should include a thorough history and physical examination as the diagnosis of Bell's palsy is based on exclusion. For confirmed cases of Bell's palsy, corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment and should be initiated within 72 hours of symptom onset. Antiviral therapy in combination with corticosteroid therapy may confer a small benefit and may be offered on the basis of shared decision making. Currently, no recommendations can be made for acupuncture, physical therapy, electrotherapy or surgical decompression because well-designed studies are lacking and available data are of low quality.
Keyword Primary Health Care
Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
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