Table 3

General practitioners’ choice of the next most appropriate management step for each patient

Next appropriate step in management
Patient123456789
(A) 30-year-old morbidly obese patient20.4 (48/235)0.4 (1/235)8.1 (19/235)0.0 (0/235)25.5 (60/235)14.0 (33/235)1.7 (4/235)47.7 (112/235)8.9 (12/235)
(B) 65-year-old patient suffering from moderate osteoarthritis of both knees34.0 (80/235)0.4 (1/235)11.5 (27/235)14.5 (34/235)6.0 (14/235)40.4 (95/235)4.3 (10/235)
(C) 25-year-old patient who plays sport regularly, has been experiencing some instability of the right knee and had some physiotherapy a year ago which did not help1.3 (3/236)28.4 (67/236)30.9 (73/236)28.0 (66/236)0.0 (0/236)11.9 (28/236)3.8 (9/236)
(D) 40-year-old male with type 2 diabetes, BMI of 31 and family history of cardiac failure36.3 (85/234)2.1 (5/234)9.4 (22/234)19.2 (45/234)14.1 (33/234)3.4 (8/234)22.2 (52/234)5.6 (13/234)
(E) 54-year-old patient has been suffering from lower back pain for the past 6 years. He complains that it ‘prevents him from exercising’8.9 (21/237)5.9 (14/237)31.2 (74/237)12.7 (30/237)42.6 (101/237)1.7 (4/237)5.9 (14/237)
(F) 30-year-old male recreational runner who presents with anterior knee pain when he runs and has a normal examination. He had physiotherapy and it did not help his symptoms4.6 (11/237)20.7 (49/237)54.4 (129/237)18.1 (43/237)0.8 (2/237)3.8 (9/237)2.5 (6/237)
  • Values expressed as percentages (n).

  • 1=No referral, advice on lifestyle and manage within general practice.

  • 2=Refer to a secondary care sport and exercise medicine (SEM) clinic.

  • 3=Refer to a primary care SEM clinic.

  • 4=Refer to orthopaedics.

  • 5=Refer to a dietician.

  • 6=Refer to a community health trainer.

  • 7=Refer to physiotherapy.

  • 8=Refer to a community-based multidisciplinary obesity clinic.

  • 9=Other.

  • BMI, Body Mass Index.