Exploring the actions of general practitioners on abnormal findings identified by registered nurses conducting home comprehensive geriatric assessments (CGA).
Background: In South Africa there data is lacking on the health of the older population. This study aims to report on actions taken by general practitioners on abnormal blood pressure, blood glucose and osteoporosis screen identified by registered nurses, conducting home based visits to older clients. Methods An agency piloted the Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) tool in an urban affluent population. In this cross sectional secondary study analysis, 465 participants aged 60 years and over had a nurse visit in their homes and a subsequent General Practitioner (GP) visit. The prevalence of specific geriatric problems was assessed as well as the frequency of initiated procedures by the GP. This study will focus on initiated actions by the General Practitioners in response to abnormal blood pressures, blood glucose, and osteoporosis screen. Results Frequency tables were utilised to identify prevalence of the abnormal blood pressures, blood glucose and osteoporosis screen. . Abnormal blood pressures were detected (230/465, 49%) of the subjects , the GP initiated actions on only 15/465 (3.2%) of clients. Abnormal blood sugars were detected 106/465 (23%) of the GP initiated actions on 23/465 (5%) of clients. Clinical risk factors for the development of osteoporosis were detected in 252 /465 (54%) subjects GP initiated actions on 11/465 (3%) Conclusion This study explored the relationships between comprehensive geriatric assessment and subsequent GP actions and found using the CGA in this population will be successful in identifying abnormal health findings which will enable intervention. However, due to challenges in the communications and marketing of this service, GP’s were not well informed of their role and did not act on majority of the abnormal findings detected by nurses