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Open Access Short Report

Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) Knowledge in General Practice: a cross-sectional study of Western Adelaide general practitioners

Elaine Stephanie Leung12*, Monica Anne Hamilton-Bruce13, Cate Price2 and Simon A Koblar13

Author Affiliations

1 Stroke Research Programme, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

2 Sturt Fleurieu General Practice Education and Training, Strathalbyn, South Australia, Australia

3 Department of Neurology, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South, South Australia, Australia

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:278  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-278

Published: 7 June 2012

Abstract

Background

With evidence to support early assessment and management of TIAs, the role of the general practitioner (GP) needs to be considered in developing a TIA service in Western Adelaide. We thus aimed to determine GP knowledge of TIA assessment and management and identify perceived barriers, in order to tailor subsequent GP education and engage primary care in the co-ordinated care of TIA patients.

Findings

A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to all GPs (n = 202) in the Adelaide Western General Practice Network. Response frequencies were calculated for all variables, and associations examined by univariate analysis.

32 GPs responded. All respondents correctly identified early risk of stroke following a TIA. Difficulty accessing neurological expertise was identified as a barrier (40.6 %), as was a lack of GP knowledge (18.8 %). Areas for improvement included access to neurologists (36.7 %), relevant guidelines and education (43.3 %).

Conclusions

Diagnosis of TIA is difficult and this study highlights the need for further education and practical guidelines for GPs. With this training, GPs could be better equipped to assess and manage TIAs effectively in the community in consultation with stroke physicians.

Keywords:
Transient ischaemic attack; General practitioners; Clinical guidelines; Medical education