149 Stroke Care In General Practice : A Survey Among Belgian Gps

Conference: 
Author(s): 
Dominique Paulus
Text: 
Introduction:
Stroke is a frequent condition in family practice. Prevalences of 4.8% and 7.1% in 55+ and 75+ year olds respectively.
However, the management of this condition varies greatly among Gps.
Objective of the study:
To analyse the practices of Belgian GPs in the management of stroke.
Data collection and methods:
A questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 1015 GPs (25% randomly contacted by phone).
The questions dealt with patient’s and GPs characteristics, description of acute and chronic phases of the stroke, hospital or home care.
Results: Two hundred seventy-four respondents (n=274, response rate=27%) described 364 cases. Age at the onset of stroke were 75 years (29%).
The main symptoms were speech disturbances (61%), cognitive impairment (42%), hemiparesis (42%) and hemiplegia (32%). Frequent sequels concerned motor impairments (41%) combined with aphasia (5%).
Pathologies following stroke were depression (35%) and infection (18%). Half of the GPs considered that a referral to a specialised centre is needed whereas no clear recommendation exists. GPs underlined also organisational difficulties of home caring and the importance of coordination centres.
Conclusion:
The GPs stress on the importance of a wide spectrum of home care organisations and of an accurate information about the coordination centres. Evidence-based treatment, continuity of care and coordination between caregivers are three conditions to optimise the care of patients with stroke.
Literature: 
149 Stroke Care in General Practice : A Survey Among Belgian GPs