Author(s): Veale BM
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Seven of every 10 general practice encounters are for chronic conditions. Three common chronic conditions managed by GPs are depression, diabetes and asthma. Two of these are National Health Priority Areas (NHPAs), while depression is the focus of the mental health NHPA. General practice care for people with depression is being strengthened by the "Better outcomes in mental health care initiative", which includes a 3 Step Mental Health Process - assessment, mental health plan, and review. GPs have the opportunity to screen patients for diabetes and manage their condition. For those with risk factors who screen negative, GPs are well placed to encourage lifestyle interventions. Two of the four components of the National Integrated Diabetes Program focus on general practice. The Asthma 3+ Visit Plan, which incorporates diagnosis and assessment of asthma, development of a written asthma plan, and review of asthma management, has been shown to improve GPs' management of asthma. These initiatives to improve general practice interventions for chronic illness, although welcomed, put further pressure on already overstretched GPs coping with multiple changes in the primary-care sector.
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This article was published in Med J Aust
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior