Respiratory diagnoses are aided by new guide

A comprehensive guide to help GPs differentiate between respiratory diseases has been produced by an international group on respiratory medicine.

The guide was developed by the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) and includes detailed questionnaires and diagnostic pathways to lead GPs to a correct diagnosis.

For patients who do appear to have a chronic airways disease, a comprehensive flow chart aids differential diagnosis of asthma, allergic rhinitis and COPD.

One section focuses on differentiating asthma and COPD, which is a 'major challenge' to primary care professionals.

Unlike NICE's guidelines, and in common with the General Practice Airways Group's (GPIAG) guidance (GP, 17 February 2006), reversibility testing to differentiate between the two conditions is advocated.

Score charts are provided to interpret points allocated according to a patient's history and symptoms.

Dr Steve Holmes, Somerset GP and chairman of the GPIAG, said: 'The authors have produced an integrated, evidence-based diagnosis guide.'

tom.simonite@haynet.com

Primary Care Respiratory Journal 2006; 15: 20-34

Live links at GPonline.com

DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE

- Characterise the problem:

A: exclude infectious diseases.

B: exclude non-respiratory causes.

C: establish if it is a chronic condition.

- Consider the patient's age and related illnesses, and investigate possible chronic airways diseases.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus