Management of acute rhinosinusitis in Danish general practice: a survey
Jens Georg Hansen
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital and Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
Purpose: To evaluate whether the ongoing debate over diagnostic problems and treatment choices for acute rhinosinusitis has had any influence on the management of the disease.
Methods: We randomly selected 300 Danish general practitioners (GPs) from the files of the Research Unit for General Practice at Aarhus University. Invitations to participate and a questionnaire were sent to the GPs by mail.
Results: A total of 149 (49%) GPs answered the questionnaire. When asked about symptoms, the highest priority was given to sinus pain and signs of tenderness. The most frequent examinations were objective examination of the ear-nose-throat (ENT), palpation of the maxillofacial area, and C-reactive protein point-of-care testing (or CRP rapid test). Nearly all GPs prescribed local vasoconstrictors, and in 70% of cases, antibiotics were prescribed. Phenoxymethylpenicillin was the preferred antibiotic. Use of the CRP rapid test, years in practice, or employment in an ENT department did not have a significant impact on the diagnostic certainty and antibiotic prescribing rate.
Conclusion: The clinical diagnoses are based on a few symptoms, signs, and the CRP rapid test. Other examinations, including imaging techniques, are seldom used. Phenoxymethylpenicillin is the preferred antibiotic, and the GPs' diagnostic certainty was 70%.
Keywords: general practice, acute rhinosinusitis, diagnosis, treatment, antibiotic
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