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Complementary therapies and general practitioners: a survey investigating the referral patterns of general practitioners in regional Victoria

By H Williams


A survey of regional Victoria's general practitioners was undertaken to determine their referral patterns and attitudes towards Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. The objective was to determine whether there is a need for greater numbers of manual therapists in regional Victoria and whether the supposed shortfall of regional therapists plays a role in the knowledge and referral patterns of GPs. The study was carried out via a postal survey, conducted between April 2003 and May 2003. A random selection was made of 100 male and female regional GPs listed in Yellow Pages Online. The response rate was 10.3% (n=103). The main outcome measures sought of the GP's were; knowledge of professions, source of learning, perceived benefits of manual therapy, previous interaction and outcomes with manual therapists, education of and referral rates to complementary practitioners. 90% of GPs actively support the referral of patients to manual therapists, with the majority (88.3%) opting to refer patients to Physiotherapists. Factors determining referral were based largely upon knowledge and relationships with individuals within that profession. These results were largely consistent with those of previous studies, and suggest that there is no significant difference in referral patterns between regional and urban GP's.\ud This minor thesis was written by a post-graduate student as part of the requirements of the Master of Health Science (Osteopathy) program

Topics: 320000 Medical and Health Sciences, School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Osteopathy Masters Project, osteopathy, physiotherapy, referral patterns, general practitioner, complementary medicine, regional Victoria
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.vu.edu.au:934
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