Assessing the competence of general practitioners in diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder using standardized patients

S. H. Shahabudin, S. H. Almashoor, A. B. Edariah, Y. Khairuddin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The competence of general practitioners (GPs) in diagnosing anxiety neurosis was assessed using standardized patients (SPs) unknown to the doctors. Out of a computer-generated random sample of 100 general practitioners in Kuala Lumpur, 42 volunteered to participate in the study. The results showed that the GPs can be divided into three groups: group A made the correct diagnosis and informed the SPs about their condition (11.9%); group B prescribed tranquillizers and did not inform the SPs of the actual diagnosis but instead said that they were either normal or were suffering from some stress (28.6%); and group C made various diagnoses of physical disorder or did not detect any abnormality at all (59.5%). Thus about 40% of the doctors considered an emotion-related disorder and only 12% of the doctors were confident enough to make and inform the patient of the actual diagnosis. Group A significantly (P < 0.001) asked higher numbers of relevant questions in the signs and symptoms section of the history than the other two groups. No differences between the three groups were observed in the other two sections of history-taking (personality, family, social and precipitating factors), in the general and specific physical examination and interpersonal skills. Generally, with the exception of the interpersonal skills section, the doctors performed less than 40% of the expected tasks in every section. The study highlighted the lack of competence in making a definite diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Among those who apparently made the diagnosis (group B) or made the diagnosis with certainty (group A), there was no demonstration of appropriate treatment behaviour with respect to pharmacological intervention. One of the contributory factors could be inadequate knowledge about the signs and symptoms of the illness as well as current knowledge about the disorder.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)432-440
    Number of pages9
    JournalMedical Education
    Volume28
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Fingerprint

    general practitioner
    Anxiety Disorders
    Mental Competency
    General Practitioners
    anxiety
    Group
    Signs and Symptoms
    History
    Precipitating Factors
    neurosis
    Physical Examination
    Personality
    Emotions
    history
    random sample
    Pharmacology
    personality
    emotion
    illness
    examination

    Keywords

    • Anxiety disorders
    • Clinical competence
    • Diagnosis
    • Family practice
    • Malaysia
    • Medical history taking
    • Patient simulation
    • Physician-patient relations

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Nursing(all)
    • Education

    Cite this

    Shahabudin, S. H., Almashoor, S. H., Edariah, A. B., & Khairuddin, Y. (1994). Assessing the competence of general practitioners in diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder using standardized patients. Medical Education, 28(5), 432-440.

    Assessing the competence of general practitioners in diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder using standardized patients. / Shahabudin, S. H.; Almashoor, S. H.; Edariah, A. B.; Khairuddin, Y.

    In: Medical Education, Vol. 28, No. 5, 1994, p. 432-440.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Shahabudin, SH, Almashoor, SH, Edariah, AB & Khairuddin, Y 1994, 'Assessing the competence of general practitioners in diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder using standardized patients', Medical Education, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 432-440.
    Shahabudin, S. H. ; Almashoor, S. H. ; Edariah, A. B. ; Khairuddin, Y. / Assessing the competence of general practitioners in diagnosing generalized anxiety disorder using standardized patients. In: Medical Education. 1994 ; Vol. 28, No. 5. pp. 432-440.
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