Article: article from journal or magazin.
Place de la clinique en médecine ambulatoire--les enseignements de l'etude TOPIC [The place of the clinic in primary case--the TOPIC study].
Revue Médicale Suisse
We know very little about the importance of history and physical examination compared to the importance of paraclinical tests in the diagnostic process in primary care. To answer this question, we examined prospectively 672 consecutive patients with chest pain in primary care. We recorded the timing and the clinical characteristics of the most frequent diagnosis. The resort to laboratory or other clinical tests and reference to specialist were influenced by: emergency consultation, potentially life-threatening aetiology, personal characteristics of the general practitioners' (GP) and patients' anxiety. GPs attributed the diagnosis to history and physical examination alone in 66% and to the association of history, physical examination and tests in 31% cases. This, clinical strategy remains the most important factor in the diagnostic process; even when they are insufficient, they allowed to generate hypotheses and guide investigations.
Ambulatory Care Facilities, Chest Pain/etiology, Humans, Physician's Practice Patterns, Primary Health Care, Prospective Studies
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