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עמוד בית
Fri, 21.06.24

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May 2003
A. Lahad, V. Anshelevitz, M. Sonnenblick and T. Dwolatzky

Background: With the aging of the population and the increase in the number of elderly patients under the care of primary care physicians in the community, it is essential that the physician be aware of the preventive medicine recommendations for this group of patients. Accepted evidence-based guidelines have been developed for the older patient and adherence to these guidelines may play a significant role in decreasing morbidity and mortality in the elderly.

Objectives: To determine whether elderly patients in community clinics are aware of the preventive medicine practices that are relevant and available to them, and to assess which factors influence their decision to use such interventions. Of particular interest was to evaluate the role of the doctor-patient relationship on the degree of patient compliance with preventive procedures.

Methods: Patients attending community clinics of the Clalit Health Services in Jerusalem were interviewed. Background information was obtained and the patients were questioned regarding the use of the following preventive medicine recommendations: screening for occult blood in the stool, testing of vision and hearing, influenza and pneumococcal immunization, thyroid-stimulating hormone testing, digital rectal examination for prostate cancer, and calcium supplementation. The patients were questioned regarding the use of aspirin or oral anticoagulation where relevant. Factors influencing their level of compliance were examined.

Results: The study group comprised 205 patients with an average age of 74.5 years. Overall the rates of compliance were high, with 78% undergoing visual assessment, 87% fecal occult blood testing, and 81% influenza immunization. Pneumococcal immunization had been administered to 49% of those interviewed and 56% had their hearing tested. Digital rectal examination had been performed in 45% of patients. Calcium supplementation was used in 60% of patients. Almost all the patients (91–100%) noted that the physician had initiated the procedure and that non-compliance was due to patient preferences. Of the 172 patients who were assumed to benefit from aspirin use, 153 (89%) used the medication, and 87% of 23 patients with atrial fibrillation were on chronic anticoagulation.

Conclusions: A high level of compliance with preventive medicine recommendations was found among this group of elderly patients. The doctor-patient relationship had a positive effect on the patients' compliance.
 

December 2002
Jayson Rapoport BSc MB MRCP, Alexander Kagan MD and Michael M. Friedlaender BM FRCP
September 2002
Yaron Niv, MD and Shlomo Birkenfield, MD

Background: Guidelines are important for keeping family physicians informed of the constant developments in many fields of medicine.

Objectives: To compare the knowledge of gastroenterologists and family physicians regarding the diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in order to determine the need for expert guidelines.

Methods: A 25 item questionnaire on the definition, diagnosis and treatment of GERD[1] was presented to 35 gastroenterologists and 35 family physicians. Each item was rated on a four point scale from 1 = highly recommended to 4 = not recommended. A voting system was used for each group on separate occasions. The proportions of correct answers according to the level of recommendation were compared between the groups.

Results: The groups' responses agreed on only 4 of the 25 items; differences between the remaining 21 were all statistically significant. For 14 items, 70% of the gastroenterologists chose the grade 1 recommendation, whereas more than 70% of the family physicians chose mostly grade 2.

Conclusions: The gap in knowledge on gastroesophageal reflux disease between gastroenterologists and family physicians is significant and may have a profound impact on diagnosis and treatment. Clear and accurate guidelines may improve patient evaluation in the community.






[1] GERD = gastroesophageal reflux disease


Dov Gavish, MD, Eyal Leibovitz, MD, Itzhak Elly, MD, Marina Shargorodsky, MD and Reuven Zimlichman, MD

Background: The implementation of treatment guidelines is lacking worldwide.

Objectives: To examine whether follow-up in a specialized lipid clinic improves the achievement rate of the treatment guidelines, as formulated by the National Cholesterol Education Program and the Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Methods: The study group included patients who were referred to the lipid clinic because of hyperlipidemia. At each of five visits over a 12 month period, lipid levels, liver and creatine kinase levels, body mass index, and adherence to diet and medications were measured, and achievement of the NCEP[1] target level was assessed.

Results: A total of 1,133 patients (mean age 61.3 years, 60% males) were studied. Additional risk factors for atherosclerosis included hypertension (41%), type II diabetes mellitus (21%), smoking (17%), and a positive family history of coronary artery disease (32%). All patients had evidence of atherosclerotic vascular disease (coronary, cerebrovascular or peripheral vascular diseases). The low density lipoprotein target of <100 mg was present in only 22% of patients before enrollment, with improvement of up to 57% after the follow-up period. During follow-up, blood pressure control was improved (from 38% at the time of referral to 88% after 12 months, P < 0.001), as was glycemic control in diabetic patients (HgA1C improved from 8.2% to 7.1% after 12 months, P < 0.001). Improved risk factor control was due to increased compliance to medication treatment (from 66% at enrollment to more than 90% after 12 months), as well as careful attention to risk factor management that translated into a change in the treatment profile during the follow-up. There was an increase in the use of the following medications: aspirin from 68% to 96%, statins from 42% to 88%, beta blockers from 20% to 40%, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors from 28% to 42%; while calcium channel blocker use decreased from 40% to 30% in patients during follow-up.

Conclusion: Follow-up of patients in a specialized clinic enhances the achievement of LDL[2]-cholesterol treatment goals as well as other risk factor treatment goals, due to increased patient compliance and increased use of medications.

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[1] NCEP = National Cholesterol Education Program

[2] LDL = low density lipoprotein


June 2002
E. Michael Sarrell, MD, Avigdor Mandelberg, MD, Herman Avner Cohen, MD and Ernesto Kahan, MD, MPH

Background: Primary care physicians' adherence to accepted asthma guidelines is necessary for the proper care of asthma patients.

Objectives: To investigate the compliance of primary care physicians with clinical guidelines for asthma treatment and their participation in related educational programs, and to evaluate the influence of their employment status.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 1,000 primary care practitioners (pediatricians and family physicians) in Israel.

Results: The response rate was 64%. Of the physicians who participated, 473 (75%) had read and consulted the guidelines but only 192 (29%) had participated in an educational program on asthma management in the last 12 months. The younger the responding physician (fewer years in practice), the more likely his/her attendance in such a program (P<0.0001). After consulting the guidelines 189 physicians (40%) had modified their treatment strategies. Significantly more self-employed than salaried physicians had read the guidelines and participated in educational programs; physicians who were both self-employed and salaried fell somewhere between these groups. This trend was not influenced by years in practice.

Conclusions: All primary care physicians should update their knowledge more often. The publication of guidelines on asthma must be followed by their proper dissemination and utilization. Our study suggests that major efforts should be directed at the population of employed physicians.

December 2001
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