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In Depth Articles

Are home care packages for the aged delivering?

March 20, 2019

The Royal Commission into Aged Care has unleashed a spate of claims of system failure within the residential aged care sector.
Now, as the commission shifts its focus to care in the community, we’re also seeing claims of failure within the home care packages program.
This scheme aims to support older people …

Is catheter ablation for AF worthwhile?

To ablate, or not to ablate? That is the question.
That’s what international researchers were investigating in two studies just published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
And the answer? As so often happens in medicine, the answer is: it depends.
Looking at the two studies, patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation …

Efudix wins over other AK treatments

March 13, 2019

Got a patient with multiple sun spots on their head that need treatment?
Well it looks like the old, tried and true 5FU cream is still the way to go, according to a randomised trial just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Among more than 600 randomly assigned patients, Dutch …

Update on Q fever in Australia

With several hundred cases diagnosed each year, Australia has one of the highest rates of Q fever worldwide.
Q fever is a bacterial infection which spreads from animals; mainly cattle, sheep and goats. It can present in different ways, but often causes severe flu-like symptoms.
Importantly, the bacteria that cause Q fever …

Cutaneous Biopsies in General Practice

March 06, 2019

Cutaneous disorders are among the most common conditions presented to primary care doctors. Many are easily identifiable and may be dealt with effectively without the need for cutaneous biopsy. Nevertheless, in many instances the diagnosis is not obvious on clinical grounds. The rash may display atypical features or may not …

Don’t Delay Antibiotics for UTI

So here’s the exception that proves the rule.
Urinary tract infections need immediate treatment with antibiotics to avoid an increased risk of sepsis and death.
That’s the quite definitive conclusion from a large retrospective study involving GP data from the UK recently published in the BMJ.
After analysing the records of over 150,000 …

Explainer: What is Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus?

February 27, 2019

Western Australian health authorities recently issued warnings about Murray Valley encephalitis, a serious disease that can spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and cause inflammation of the brain.
Thankfully, no human cases have been reported this wet season. The virus that causes the disease was detected in chickens in …

Enuresis Management in General Practice

Australian GPs are confident and competent at managing kids with bedwetting issues, new research confirms.
But they are less sure what to do with children with daytime wetting or when childhood enuresis persists into adulthood, according to the study findings recently published in the Australian Journal of General Practice.
As you may …

Here’s what You Need to Know About Melioidosis, the Deadly Infection that Can Spread After Floods

February 20, 2019

The devastating Townsville floods have receded but the clean up is being complicated by the appearance of a serious bacterial infection known as melioidosis. One person has died from melioidosis and nine others have been diagnosed with the disease over the past week.
The bacteria that causes the disease, Burkholderia pseudomallei, …

Improving the Outlook for Cerebral Palsy Children

Despite the incidence of cerebral palsy decreasing, it is still Australia’s most common cause of physical disability in childhood, experts say.
And with the condition affecting over two in every 1000 live births, it is more than likely a GP will be caring for these patients in their clinical practice.
The authors …

One in Six Australian Women in Their 30s Have Had an Abortion – and We’re Starting to Understand Why

February 12, 2019

Abortion is a common experience for Australian women. Around one in six have had an abortion by their mid-30s, according our new research published today in the Australia New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Narratives about abortion often stigmatise women who have had one or seek access to one. But our …

Bad News for Sinus Sufferers

Chronic rhinosinusitis is a misery-generating condition – literally.
According to a large study just published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, having chronic rhinosinusitis significantly increases your risk of depression and anxiety. And if you also have nasal polyps the risk is higher still.
The Korean study was admittedly observational …