The benefits of a shared-care prostate clinic

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Abstract

Objective

To establish a hospital based shared-care clinic to investigate and manage benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with general practitioners (GPs).

Patients and methods

During one year, 330 patients referred with suspected prostatic obstruction were investigated in an outreach clinic in a rural cottage hospital by urology department nurses according to a protocol. After this, they were referred directly back to their GPs with recommendations for their management or seen in the urologist's clinic. A questionnaire was completed by the GPs to assess their satisfaction with and attitudes to the clinic.

Results

One-third of the patients were referred directly back to their GP, a third were seen routinely and a third seen urgently in the urologist's clinic, usually because a prostate-specific antigen assay indicated the possibility of latent prostatic cancer. A survey confirmed that GP support for the clinic was unanimous whilst patients were reassured by the thoroughness and sensitivity of the clinic's nursing staff.

Conclusion

The clinic reduced the workload of the GPs and urologists whilst providing a speedy and comprehensive assessment of patients presenting with suspected prostatic obstruction.

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