Now Available Online: Results of a Patient & Physician Survey on Leg Disorders

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Professional Postgraduate Services® (PPS), renowned for its award-winning healthcare websites, is proud to announce the publication of Leg Disorders: Patient Behavior & Physician Effectiveness, the results of a collaborative Clinical Practice Survey with Harris Interactive, Inc. This publication reports the findings of two surveys designed in tandem to gauge physician competency in the diagnosis and management of leg disorders and, simultaneously, to investigate patient perspective and conduct in relation to leg disorders. Both surveys were also intended to assess the overall impact of leg disorders on patient quality of life.

Professional Postgraduate Services® (PPS), renowned for its award-winning healthcare websites, is proud to announce the publication of Leg Disorders: Patient Behavior & Physician Effectiveness Leg Disorders: Patient Behavior & Physician Effectiveness, the results of a collaborative Clinical Practice Survey with Harris Interactive, Inc. The survey and resulting publication were supported by an educational grant from AR Scientific, Inc. This publication was distributed via mail to target audience members, and is now also available on the official website of the Biology of Leg Disorders (BOLD®) educational initiative, LegDisorders.org.

This publication reports the findings of two surveys designed in tandem to gauge physician competency in the diagnosis and management of leg disorders and, simultaneously, to investigate patient perspective and conduct in relation to leg disorders. Both surveys were also intended to assess the overall impact of leg disorders on patient quality of life.

Recruitment was from the American Medical Association's masterfile. The following qualifications were required for physicians to participate in the survey: currently practicing at the date of the survey, as well as for at least 2 years; spending at least half their time seeing patients; having no more than half their patients younger than age 18 years; and treating at least one patient with a leg disorder. A total of 815 participants were selected: 406 generalists comprising 102 family practitioners/general practitioners (FP/GP), 102 internal medicine physicians, 102 OB/GYNs, and 100 geriatricians; and 409 specialists comprising 103 cardiologists, 103 neurologists, 100 orthopedic surgeons, and 103 rheumatologists. Online interviews were conducted in August 2007. Questions were focused on nocturnal leg cramps (NLC), osteoarthritis, peripheral neuropathy, restless legs syndrome (RLS), gout, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), diabetic neuropathy, neuroleptic-induced akathisia, meralgia paresthetica (MP), and periodic limb movement disorder.

The survey found that of individuals with leg or feet symptoms (n=3,154), only 59% of the older population, aged 65+ years, and 36% of the younger population, aged 18-64 years, sought medical attention. Having decided to visit a physician, 75% went to an FP, and the mean number of visits prior to diagnosis ranged from 1.8 for gout to 3.3 for DVT. Patients were more likely than physicians to initiate a discussion about leg disorders, which sometimes were diagnosed as a result of a different primary complaint. In fact, 1 in 3 physicians responded that RLS is rarely or never diagnosed as a result of a patient's primary complaint. Physician confidence ranged by physician type and varied by disorder. Only 14% of OB/GYNs were highly confident in making a PAD diagnosis, while 100% of rheumatologists professed high confidence for diagnosing gout. Conditions for which a third or more FPs/GPs were not highly confident in diagnosis and treating included PAD, NLC, and RLS. Physician proficiency was measured by association questions and case studies for the various disorders. Correct responses for the cases ranged from 60% correct identification of MP to 95% correct identification of DVT. Treatment approaches, efficacy, and issues were investigated, with side effects of medication reported as a barrier to management by various percentages of patients in every leg disorder group. A high percentage of physicians thought leg disorders impaired quality of life; and patient responses revealed difficulties in daily functioning, especially sleep disruption.

LegDisorders.org is the official website of the Biology of Leg Disorders (BOLD®) educational initiative. BOLD brings a first-of-its-kind educational paradigm to leg disorders, structuring programs across a spectrum of diseases. Classification that differentiates on the basis of pathophysiologic origin (ie, cardiovascular, neurologic, musculoskeletal) offers healthcare professionals comprehensive, cross-disciplinary education. LegDisorders.org currently features a dynamic slide library, current literature, CME-certified interactive case studies, clinical case videos and newsletters, "Ask the Expert" video podcasts, and the most recent addition, the Clinical Compendium on Leg Disorders, a consolidated body of knowledge on the broad spectrum of leg disorders and related comorbidities for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers who treat patients with leg disorders. BOLD is truly a multimedia campaign with unprecedented outreach to clinicians. The Biology of Leg Disorders (BOLD®) educational initiative and LegDisorders.org are supported by an educational grant from AR Scientific, Inc.

Professional Postgraduate Services® (PPS)
Professional Postgraduate Services® (PPS) develops medical education activities designed to meet the needs of practicing physicians. PPS, working with medical leaders, designs and implements effective programs to meet specific educational objectives. Our overall goal is to conduct activities that will modify physician behavior in such a way as to have a positive impact on patient care and quality of life. Program formats are based on careful evaluation of message complexity, goals, audience needs, and budget, always taking advantage of proven training methodologies and interactivity. PPS develops medical education programs consistent with the Essentials and Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, as well as guidelines established by the AMA, PhRMA, and FDA. PPS is a business unit of KnowledgePoint360 Group, LLC, a leading healthcare information company.

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