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BPJ 21 June 2009

Best Practice Journal

Acute low back pain

Acute low back pain is common and most patients will fully recover within three months. Serious causes are rare and can be excluded with careful history and examination. It is not necessary, and often not possible, to make an exact diagnosis and radiological investigations are usually not required in the absence of red flags. View Article

Management of non-specific back pain and lumbar radicular pain

Key aspects of management include reassurance, education and encouraging the patient to remain active - adequate analgesia is important to facilitate this. Patients should be reviewed regularly to ensure that pain is resolving. View Article

Five-minute back examination with neurological assessment

Instructions and illustrations for performing a quick examination on a patient presenting with acute low back pain and neurological symptoms. View Article

Diagnosing and managing influenza

In healthy people influenza is usually self-limiting and uncomplicated however for some groups of people it can be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Immunisation is the primary way to prevent influenza and its complications. Treatment with antivirals should be considered for those at risk of serious illness. View Article

Immunisation update

Recent changes to the immunisation schedule include a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants, introduction of the High Risk Pneumococcal programme and the removal of the MeNZB vaccination programme from the schedule. New Zealand appears to be in the early phases of a pertussis epidemic and since the start of 2009 there has been an increased number of confirmed cases of measles. View Article

Upfront: The funding maze

A clinical pathologist’s perspective. View Article

Fluoroquinolone-associated tendon disorders

The use of oral fluoroquinolones is associated with increased risk of tendinitis and tendon ruptures. View Article

Accessing funded medicines in New Zealand

A brief guide for GPs to the methods used to access funded medicines. View Article

What’s new in the 2009 New Zealand Cardiovascular Guidelines Handbook?

The New Zealand Guidelines Group recently released their updated Cardiovascular Guidelines Handbook. This article details the changes to the handbook that may affect day-to-day practice. View Article

Self Management Plans for asthma - obsolete or needing a fresh start?

The asthma & respiratory foundation of New Zealand has developed a revised version of its self-management plan for asthma. View Article

Adverse reaction reporting tool

On April 1 2009, the Minister of Health launched a new electronic adverse reaction reporting tool in New Zealand.
The tool is designed to facilitate the reporting of adverse reactions to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).
View Article