Items in AFP with MESH term: Office Visits
ABSTRACT: Chronic cough is a common problem in patients who visit family physicians. The three most common causes of chronic cough in those who are referred to pulmonary specialists are postnasal drip, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux. The initial treatment of patients with cough is often empiric and may involve a trial of decongestants, bronchodilators or histamine H2 antagonists, as monotherapy or in combination. If a therapeutic trial is not successful, sequential diagnostic testing including chest radiograph, purified protein derivative test for tuberculosis, computed tomography of the sinuses, methacholine challenge test or barium swallow may be indicated. By using a standard protocol for diagnosis and treatment, 90 percent of patients with chronic cough can be managed successfully in the family physician's office. However, in some cases it may take three to five months to determine a diagnosis and effective treatment. For the minority of patients in whom this diagnostic approach is unsuccessful, consultation with a pulmonary specialist is appropriate.
Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - Article
ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes) causes abnormal carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism associated with insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion. Insulin resistance is a major contributor to progression of the disease and to complications of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a common and underdiagnosed condition that poses treatment challenges to family practitioners. The introduction of new oral agents within the past three years has expanded the range of possible combination regimens available for treating type 2 diabetes. Despite the choice of pharmacologic agents, physicians must stress the nonpharmacologic approaches of diet modification, weight control and regular exercise. Pharmacologic approaches must be based on patient characteristics, level of glucose control and cost considerations. Combinations of different oral agents may be useful for controlling hyperglycemia before insulin therapy becomes necessary. A stepped-care approach to drug therapy may provide the most rational, cost-efficient approach to management of this disease. Pharmaco-economic analyses of clinical trials are needed to determine cost-effective treatment strategies for management of type 2 diabetes.
A Potentially Violent Patient? - Curbside Consultation
Adult Immunization-Pneumococcal Vaccine - Putting Prevention into Practice
ABSTRACT: Patients who provide care to family members or friends with dementia are likely to be in a family physician's practice. The caregiver role can be stressful, and identifying these patients can give the family physician opportunities to help patients cope with the challenges of the caregiver role. Family physicians have a systematic approach for assessing the degree of caregiver burden in these patients. Because caregivers are at increased risk for depression and anxiety, screening should be done to exclude the presence of either disorder. The caregiver's skill in managing behavioral problems in the family member with dementia should be assessed. If there are problems, family physicians should provide practical counseling about common caregiving stresses and about resources that benefit caregivers. Helping the caregiver learn strategies for coping with difficulties may help reduce some of the stress the caregiver is experiencing.
Caring for Caregivers - Editorials
Making Diabetes Checkups More Fruitful - Improving Patient Care
ABSTRACT: The physician-patient relationship is part of the patient’s larger social system and is influenced by the patient’s family. A patient’s family member can be a valuable source of health information and can collaborate in making an accurate diagnosis and planning a treatment strategy during the office visit. However, it is important for the physician to keep an appropriate balance when addressing concerns to maintain the alliance formed among physician, patient, and family member. The patient-centered medical home, a patient care concept that helps address this dynamic, often involves a robust partnership among the physician, the patient, and the patient’s family. During the office visit, this partnership may be influenced by the ethnicity, cultural values, beliefs about illness, and religion of the patient and his or her family. Physicians should recognize abnormal family dynamics during the office visit and attempt to stay neutral by avoiding triangulation. The only time neutrality should be disrupted is if the physician suspects abuse or neglect. It is important that the patient has time to communicate privately with the physician at some point during the visit.