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N Z Med J. 2001 Jul 13;114(1135):307-9.

Notification of gastrointestinal illness by Canterbury and West Coast general practitioners.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and General Practice, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago.



To identify factors influencing notification of enteric diseases by general practitioners (GPs).


The 'laboratory-based notification rate' was calculated for each GP by dividing the number of cases they notified by their number of laboratory detected cases of selected enteric diseases during 1997 and 1998. The 'annual full time equivalent (FTE) notification rate' was defined as the number of notifications received during the study period adjusted for the proportion of that time spent in clinical practice. These measures were compared with responses to a questionnaire posted to 395 Canterbury and West Coast GPs.


82% responded to the questionnaire. Higher 'laboratory-based notification rates' and 'annual FTE notification rates' were associated with the practice nurse being responsible for notifying and with GPs who were more recent graduates or who practised in rural areas. Few respondents identified high risk groups in their criteria for requesting a specimen.


Communicable disease control could be enhanced by emphasising the importance of specimen collection in high risk groups, encouraging delegation of notification to practice nurses and encouraging the development of public health based guidelines to determine the need for specimen request

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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