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Delay in diagnosis of muscle disorders depends on the subspecialty of the initially consulted physician

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Item Type:Article
Title:Delay in diagnosis of muscle disorders depends on the subspecialty of the initially consulted physician
Creators Name:Spuler, S. and Stroux, A. and Kuschel, F. and Kuhlmey, A. and Kendel, F.
Abstract:Background: New therapeutic strategies in muscular dystrophies will make a difference in prognosis only if they are begun early in the course of the disease. Therefore, we investigated factors that influence the time to diagnosis in muscle dystrophy patients. Methods: A sample of 101 patients (mean age 49 years; range 19-80; 44% women) with diagnosed muscle dystrophies from neurological practices and the neuromuscular specialty clinic in Berlin, Germany, was invited to participate. Time from first consultation to diagnosis, subspecialty of physician, and sociodemographic data were assessed with self-report questionnaires. The association between time to diagnosis and potential predictors (subspecialty of initially consulted physician, diagnoses, gender, and age at onset) was modeled with linear regression analysis. Results: The mean time span between first health-care contact and diagnosis was 4.3 years (median 1). The diagnostic delay was significantly longer if patients were initially seen by a non-neurological specialist compared to a general practitioner (5.2 vs. 3.5 years, p = 0.047). Other factors that were independently associated with diagnostic delay were female gender and inherited muscle disease. Conclusion: Action to improve clinical awareness of muscle diseases in non-neurological specialists is needed.
Keywords:Delayed Diagnosis, Medicine, Muscular Diseases, Neurology, Nonparametric Statistics, Primary Health Care, Questionnaires, Referral and Consultation, Self Report, Statistics as Topic, Time Factors
Source:BMC Health Services Research
Publisher:BioMed Central
Page Range:91
Date:4 May 2011
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-11-91
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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