Items in FPM with MESH term: Family Practice
ABSTRACT: As the number of drivers with cognitive impairment increases, family physicians are more likely to become involved in decisions about cessation of driving privileges in older patients. Physicians who care for cognitively impaired older adults should routinely ask about driving status. In patients who continue to drive, physicians should assess pertinent cognitive domains, determine the severity and etiology of the dementia, and screen for risky driving behaviors. Cognitive impairment detected by office-based tests may indicate that the patient is at risk of a motor vehicle crash. Referral for performance-based road testing may further clarify risk and assist in making driving recommendations. Physicians should assist families in the difficult process of driving cessation, including providing information about Web sites and other resources and clarifying the appropriate state regulations. Some states require reporting of specific medical conditions to their departments of motor vehicles.
ABSTRACT: Sickle cell disease represents a spectrum of inherited hemoglobin disorders. The pathophysiology involves abnormalities not just in red blood cells but also vascular endothelium, white blood cell function, coagulation, and inflammatory response. Known sequelae of sickle cell disease include invasive infections, painful episodes, acute chest syndrome, strokes, and chronic pulmonary hypertension. Preventive strategies that decrease the risk of infection are the routine use of daily antibiotics until five years of age, immunization of children with the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in addition to the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine, annual influenza vaccination after six months of age, and meningococcal vaccination after two years of age. A significant advance in stroke prevention is the use of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography to identify asymptomatic, at-risk children who should be considered for chronic blood transfusions. Chronic transfusion therapy for primary or secondary stroke prevention requires careful surveillance for iron overload and chelation therapy. Patients with chest pain, fever, or respiratory symptoms and new pulmonary infiltrates require aggressive medical management for acute chest syndrome. Pain management still represents an important area for aggressive treatment using sickle cell disease-specific guidelines. Newer treatments include hydroxyurea therapy to decrease the frequency of painful episodes and associated comorbidities, and hematopoietic cell transplantation for a limited subset of patients. Family physicians play a crucial role in instituting evidence-based preventive care strategies, initiating timely treatment of acute illness, recognizing life-threatening episodes, and providing a medical home for multidisciplinary management.
ABSTRACT: Tight control of blood glucose levels and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension, hypercholesterolemia) can substantially reduce the incidence of microvascular and macrovascular complications from type 1 diabetes. Physicians play an important role in helping patients make essential lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of these complications. Key recommendations that family physicians can give patients to optimize their outcomes include: take control of daily decisions regarding your health, focus on preventing and controlling risk factors for cardiovascular disease, tightly control your blood glucose level, be cognizant of potentially inaccurate blood glucose test results, use physiologic insulin replacement regimens, and learn how to manage and prevent hypoglycemia.
ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the primary cause of death in women for almost a century, and more women than men have died of CVD every year since 1984. Although CVD incidence can be reduced by adherence to a heart-healthy lifestyle and detection and treatment of major risk factors, preventive recommendations have not been consistently or optimally applied to women. The American Heart Association guidelines for CVD prevention in women provide physicians with a clear plan for assessment and treatment of CVD risk and personalization of treatment recommendations. The emphasis of preventive efforts has shifted away from treatment of individual CVD risk factors in isolation toward assessment of a woman's overall or "global" CVD risk. In addition to accounting for the presence or absence of preexisting coronary heart disease or its equivalents (e.g., diabetes, chronic kidney disease), cardiovascular risk can be further calculated with the Framingham risk score, which is based on age, sex, smoking history, and lipid and blood pressure levels. Intervention intensity and treatment goals are tailored to overall risk, with those at highest risk receiving the most intense risk-lowering interventions. Women at high risk for CVD and without contraindications should receive aspirin, beta blockers, and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker in addition to pharmacologic therapy for hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes. Women who already are at optimal or low risk for CVD should be encouraged to maintain or further improve their healthy lifestyle practices. Optimal application of these preventive practices significantly reduces the burden of death and disability caused by heart attack and stroke in women.
Work-Related Eye Injuries and Illnesses - Article
ABSTRACT: More than 65,000 work-related eye injuries and illnesses, causing significant morbidity and disability, are reported in the United States annually. A well-equipped eye tray includes fluorescein dye, materials for irrigation and foreign body removal, a short-acting mydriatic agent, and topical anesthetics and antibiotics. The tray should be prepared in advance in case of an eye injury. Eye patching does not improve cornea reepithelialization or discomfort from corneal abrasions. Blunt trauma to the eye from a heavy object can cause a blow-out fracture. Sudden eye pain after working with a chisel, hammer, grinding wheel, or saw suggests a penetrating globe injury. Chemical eye burns require immediate copious irrigation. Nontraumatic causes of ocular illness are underreported; work-related allergic conjunctivitis increasingly has been recognized among food handlers and agriculture workers who are exposed to common spices, fruits, and vegetables. The patient's history of eye injury guides the diagnosis. Primary prevention and patient counseling on proper eye protection is essential because over 90 percent of injuries can be avoided with the use of eye protection. As laser use increases in industry and medical settings, adequate personal protection is needed to prevent cataracts. Outdoor workers exposed to significant ultraviolet rays need sun protection and safety counseling to prevent age-related macular degeneration. Contact lenses do not provide eye protection, and physicians should be familiar with guidelines for the use of contacts in the workplace.
Cerumen Impaction - Article
ABSTRACT: Cerumen is a naturally occurring, normally extruded product of the external auditory canal. It is usually asymptomatic, but when it becomes impacted it can cause complications such as hearing loss, pain, or dizziness. It also can interfere with examination of the tympanic membrane. Depending on available equipment, physician skill, and patient circumstances, treatment options for cerumen impaction include watchful waiting, manual removal, the use of ceruminolytic agents, and irrigation with or without ceruminolytic pretreatment. The overall quality of the evidence on treatment is limited. Referral to an otolaryngologist for further evaluation is indicated if treatment with a ceruminolytic agent followed by irrigation is ineffective, if manual removal is not possible, if the patient develops severe pain or has vertigo during irrigation, or if hearing loss is still present after cerumen has been removed. The use of cotton swabs and ear candles should be avoided.
ABSTRACT: Most primary care physicians report at least one emergency presenting to their office per year. Asthma, anaphylaxis, shock, seizures, and cardiac arrest are among the most common adult and childhood emergencies in the office setting. Most offices are not fully prepared for these medical emergencies. Practices can initiate a preparedness program by purchasing emergency equipment and medications that reflect the spectrum of anticipated emergencies in their patient populations, the practitioners' skills, and the distance to the nearest emergency department. Physicians and staff should make every effort to maintain current certification in basic or advanced lifesaving courses. Offices may also wish to create a written emergency protocol that outlines the steps to be followed in the event of a medical office emergency. By preparing for medical emergencies with the correct equipment, education, and protocols, offices can greatly decrease the risk of an unfavorable outcome.
ABSTRACT: This article provides answers to many questions medical students ask about the specialty of family medicine. It was developed through the collaborative efforts of several family medicine organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, and the Association of Departments of Family Medicine. The article discusses the benefits of primary care and family medicine, the education and training of family physicians, the scope of medical practice in the specialty, and issues related to lifestyle and medical student debt.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Loss - Article
ABSTRACT: Second trimester pregnancy loss is uncommon, but it should be regarded as an important event in a woman's obstetric history. Fetal abnormalities, including chromosomal problems, and maternal anatomic factors, immunologic factors, infection, and thrombophilia should be considered; however, a cause-and-effect relationship may be difficult to establish. A thorough history and physical examination should include inquiries about previous pregnancy loss. Laboratory tests may identify treatable etiologies. Although there is limited evidence that specific interventions improve outcomes, management of contributing maternal factors (e.g., smoking, substance abuse) is essential. Preventive measures, including vaccination and folic acid supplementation, are recommended regardless of risk. Management of associated chromosomal factors requires consultation with a genetic counselor or obstetrician. The family physician can play an important role in helping the patient and her family cope with the emotional aspects of pregnancy loss.
Somatoform Disorders - Article
ABSTRACT: The somatoform disorders are a group of psychiatric disorders that cause unexplained physical symptoms. They include somatization disorder (involving multisystem physical symptoms), undifferentiated somatoform disorder (fewer symptoms than somatization disorder), conversion disorder (voluntary motor or sensory function symptoms), pain disorder (pain with strong psychological involvement), hypochondriasis (fear of having a life-threatening illness or condition), body dysmorphic disorder (preoccupation with a real or imagined physical defect), and somatoform disorder not otherwise specified (used when criteria are not dearly met for one of the other somatoform disorders). These disorders should be considered early in the evaluation of patients with unexplained symptoms to prevent unnecessary interventions and testing. Treatment success can be enhanced by discussing the possibility of a somatoform disorder with the patient early in the evaluation process, limiting unnecessary diagnostic and medical treatments, focusing on the management of the disorder rather than its cure, using appropriate medications and psychotherapy for comorbidities, maintaining a psychoeducational and collaborative relationship with patients, and referring patients to mental health professionals when appropriate.