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BPJ 70 September 2015

Best Practice Journal

Upfront: Confronting the conundrum: do you prescribe antibiotics for respiratory tract infections?

The June edition of Best Practice Journal (BPJ 68) was themed as an “Antibiotic Issue”. It is increasingly important that we focus on sensible antibiotic prescribing in light of the rising levels of antimicrobial resistance, and the impending “antibiotic apocalypse”. But what does sensible prescribing actually mean? View Article

Chronic pelvic pain in women

Chronic pelvic pain can cause significant disruption to the lives of the women it affects. It can arise not only from pathology affecting any of the structures located within the pelvis and lower abdomen, but also related areas such as the skeletal system, nerves or muscles. When a specific pathophysiological cause is identified, management is tailored to this. However, for some women the underlying cause of their pelvic pain will never be identified and this can be challenging. In these instances, a multi-disciplinary approach should be used for both assessment and optimal management, to reduce the risk of fragmented care. This article focuses on the general strategies of management, rather than the treatment options for each of the multiple conditions that can contribute to chronic pelvic pain. View Article

Asthma education in primary care

Māori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand are disproportionately affected by asthma, but the level of care they receive does not match this morbidity. Education helps to reduce disparities and needs to be an ongoing component of asthma care. To be effective, asthma education needs to be matched to the stage of asthma health literacy of the patient and their whānau. Patients with asthma who are supported by a collaborative primary care team do experience better health outcomes. Regular follow-up of all patients with asthma ensures that Māori and Pacific patients are receiving appropriate treatment and that any gaps in care can be rapidly redressed. View Article

Age-related macular degeneration – what should a General Practitioner know?

Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive condition which results in loss or distortion of the central visual field, and is the leading cause of blindness in New Zealand. Key risk factors for the development of age-related macular degeneration are age and family history, but people can reduce their risk by avoiding smoking, consuming a diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables and regular fish intake, and avoiding exposure to UV light. Prognosis has dramatically improved for some people with age-related macular degeneration, as treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibodies can stabilise vision loss and improve visual acuity. For people in the early stages of disease, dietary supplements may be beneficial to reduce the risk of progression. View Article

Research Update: Testosterone use and cardiovascular risk in older males

In the previous edition of Best Practice Journal, we covered the appropriate use of testosterone in older male patients (see: “Prescribing testosterone in ageing males: why you shouldn’t read this article”, BPJ 69, Aug, 2015). As the previous Journal went to print, two additional studies regarding the cardiovascular safety of testosterone in older males, and an editorial from the FDA regarding the use of testosterone in older males, were published. View Article

Correspondence: Treating GAS; Does tart cherry help with sleep?

Treating GAS to reduce transmission to a vulnerable community | Does tart cherry help with sleep? View Article

Peer Group Discussion

We look back at the key messages and practice points from selected articles in Best Practice Journals View Article