Diagnosing asthma in adults in primary care: A qualitative study of Australian GPs' experiences
Aim: To explore what difficulties are faced by general practitioners (GPs) when trying to make a diagnosis of asthma in adults, and whether there are patient characteristics that influence this process. Methods: A qualitative study in which three focus group discussions were conducted with 18 GPs. Results: GPs were confident with the components needed to confirm a diagnosis of asthma but not with the use of spirometry. GPs said that time was an important factor - time to undertake the tests in their practice, and time to persuade the patient to engage in the diagnostic process including follow-up visits. Patients who were less willing to engage in this process were likely to be treated symptomatically. Conclusion: Continuity of care is important. A diagnosis of asthma seems to be more likely in patients with an ongoing relationship with their GP where both are willing to engage in the diagnostic process. 2010 Primary Care Respiratory Society UK. All rights reserved.
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