Items in AFP with MESH term: Primary Health Care

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The Visually Impaired Patient - Article

ABSTRACT: Blindness or low vision affects more than 3 million Americans 40 years and older, and this number is projected to reach 5.5 million by 2020. In addition to treating a patient's vision loss and comorbid medical issues, physicians must be aware of the physical limitations and social issues associated with vision loss to optimize health and independent living for the visually impaired patient. In the United States, the four most prevalent etiologies of vision loss in persons 40 years and older are age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Exudative macular degeneration is treated with laser therapy, and progression of nonexudative macular degeneration in its advanced stages may be slowed with high-dose antioxidant and zinc regimens. The value of screening for glaucoma is uncertain; management of this condition relies on topical ocular medications. Cataract symptoms include decreased visual acuity, decreased color perception, decreased contrast sensitivity, and glare disability. Lifestyle and environmental interventions can improve function in patients with cataracts, but surgery is commonly performed if the condition worsens. Diabetic retinopathy responds to tight glucose control, and severe cases marked by macular edema are treated with laser photocoagulation. Vision-enhancing devices can help magnify objects, and nonoptical interventions include special filters and enhanced lighting.

A Perfect Storm: Changes Impacting Medicare Threaten Primary Care Access in Underserved Areas - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers

ABSTRACT: A convergence of three policies could reduce physician Medicare payments by 14.9 to 22.3 percent in 2008, which could jeopardize access for Medicare beneficiaries in underserved areas. Congress and the Executive Branch should coordinate their roles in setting Medicare payment policy, because their overlapping decisions can have additive impact.

Will Patients Find Diversity in the Medical Home? - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers

ABSTRACT: Mexican Americans and blacks experience disparities in health outcomes relative to white populations. During the past five to 10 years, fewer blacks and Mexican Americans are going to medical school and entering primary care professions. To assure the availability of a patient-centered medical home for all Americans, policy makers must work to support a culturally competent and diverse primary care workforce.

Primary Care Issues in Patients with Mental Illness - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians commonly care for patients with serious mental illness. Patients with psychotic and bipolar disorders have more comorbid medical conditions and higher mortality rates than patients without serious mental illness. Many medications prescribed for serious mental illness have significant metabolic and cardiovascular adverse effects. Patients treated with second-generation antipsychotics should receive preventive counseling and treatment for obesity, hyperglycemia, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. First- and second-generation antipsychotics have been associated with QT prolongation. Many common medications can interact with antipsychotics, increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. Drug interactions can also lead to increased adverse effects, increased or decreased drug levels, toxicity, or treatment failure. Physicians should carefully consider the risks and benefits of second-generation antipsychotic medications, and patient care should be coordinated between primary care physicians and mental health professionals to prevent serious adverse effects.

Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care - Point-of-Care Guides

Changing Patient Health-Risk Behavior Requires New Investment in Primary Care - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers

ABSTRACT: Evidence supports the effectiveness of primary care interventions to improve nutrition, increase physical activity levels, reduce alcohol intake, and stop tobacco use. However, implementing these interventions requires considerable practice expense. If we hope to change behavior to reduce chronic illness, the way we pay for primary care services must be modified to incorporate these expenses.

Screening for Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children and Pregnant Women - Putting Prevention into Practice

Fatigue: An Overview - Article

ABSTRACT: Fatigue, a common presenting symptom in primary care, negatively impacts work performance, family life, and social relationships. The differential diagnosis of fatigue includes lifestyle issues, physical conditions, mental disorders, and treatment side effects. Fatigue can be classified as secondary to other medical conditions, physiologic, or chronic. The history and physical examination should focus on identifying common secondary causes (e.g., medications, anemia, pregnancy) and life-threatening problems, such as cancer. Results of laboratory studies affect management in only 5 percent of patients, and if initial results are normal, repeat testing is generally not indicated. Treatment of all types of fatigue should include a structured plan for regular physical activity that consists of stretching and aerobic exercise, such as walking. Caffeine and modafinil may be useful for episodic situations requiring alertness. Short naps are proven performance enhancers. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, or sertraline, may improve energy in patients with depression. Patients with chronic fatigue may respond to cognitive behavior therapy. Scheduling regular follow-up visits, rather than sporadic urgent appointments, is recommended for effective long-term management.

Having a Usual Source of Care Reduces ED Visits - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers

ABSTRACT: The recent growth in the use of emergency departments (EDs) is costly, undesirable, and unnecessary. This trend is partly due to a growing proportion of persons who lack a usual source of care. This group is increasingly likely to rely on EDs for their health care needs compared with those who have a usual source of care.

Osteoporosis Screening: Mixed Messages in Primary Care - Editorials

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