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J Clin Neurosci. 2011 Aug;18(8):1044-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2010.12.041. Epub 2011 Jun 11.

Parkinson's disease in general practice: assessing knowledge, confidence and the potential role of education.

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Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, 94 Mallett Street, Camperdown, New South Wales 2050, Australia.


In the context of an ageing population, Australian general practitioners (GPs) will be asked increasingly to manage challenging neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease (PD). This study sought to evaluate whether Australian GPs have been provided with sufficient training to effectively diagnose and manage PD, and to determine the extent to which a brief training seminar could improve knowledge and increase confidence. A baseline assessment was completed by 168 GPs in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, and was re-administered following an educational seminar to 105 GPs. Australian GPs demonstrated significant knowledge gaps on the baseline assessment, scoring only 50% (standard deviation [SD] 15.5%). Post-seminar results showed significant improvement (p<0.001) to 71.5% (SD 15%). Although following the seminar the vast majority reported increased confidence, there were some differential benefits between metropolitan and regional practitioners. These findings emphasise the need for continuing education in relation to PD in primary health care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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