General practitioners' patterns of treatment of febrile travellers in north Queensland: an exploratory study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In north Queensland, recurring epidemics of dengue fever are a public health concern. Each epidemic is initiated by an index case: an infected person arriving from an endemic country or region with dengue activity who then transmits the disease to local mosquitoes. A timely diagnosis of dengue in an index case and notification to public health services is essential to prevent epidemics. This qualitative study explores north Queensland general practitioners’ experiences and patterns of treatment of febrile travellers. Individual, semi-structured interviews with 50 general practitioners working in north Queensland were conducted. Analysis of the data resulted in four themes for discussion: characteristics of febrile travellers presenting to local general practitioners, the cost of pathology tests as a barrier to diagnosis, appropriate pathology testing, and notifying tropical public health services. Recommendations from this study point to a need for ongoing education and training for general practitioners in best practice with regards pathology testing for suspected dengue fever cases. As well, there is a need to provide clearer guidelines to general practitioners on when to notify tropical public health services of suspicious diagnoses of dengue.

authors

  • Engström, Kajsa L
  • Mills, Jane
  • McBride, William JH
  • Johansson, Caroline M

publication date

  • 2012