The accuracy of the general practitioner's sense of alarm when confronted with dyspnoea and/or thoracic pain : protocol for a prospective observational study
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
London :BMJ Group
BMJ open. - London, 2011, currens
, 4 p.
University of Antwerp
Introduction Dyspnoea and chest pain are signs shared with multiple pathologies ranging from the benign to life-threatening diseases. Gut feelings such as the sense of alarm and the sense of reassurance are known to play a substantial role in the diagnostic reasoning of general practitioners (GPs). A Gut Feelings Questionnaire (GFQ) has been validated to measure the GP's sense of alarm. A French version of the GFQ is available following a linguistic validation procedure. The aim of the study is to calculate the diagnostic test accuracy of a GP's sense of alarm when confronted with dyspnoea and chest pain. Methods and analysis Prospective observational study. Patients aged between 18 and 80 years, consulting their GP for dyspnoea and/or thoracic pain will be considered for enrolment in the study. These GPs will have to complete the questionnaire immediately after the consultation for dyspnoea and/or thoracic pain. The follow-up and the final diagnosis will be collected 4 weeks later by phone contact with the GP or with the patient if their GP has no information. Life-threatening and non-life-threatening diseases have previously been defined according to the pathologies or symptoms in the (ICPC2) International Collegiate Programming Contest classification. Members of the research team, blinded to the actual outcomes shown on the index questionnaire, will judge each case in turn and will, by consensus, classify the expected outcomes as either life-threatening or non-life-threatening diseases. The sensitivity, the specificity, the positive and negative likelihood ratio of the sense of alarm will be calculated from the constructed contingency table. Ethics and dissemination This study was approved by the ethical committee of the University de Bretagne Occidentale. A written informed consent form will be signed and dated by GPs and patients at the beginning of the study. The results will be published in due course.