Evaluation of referrals from general practice to a neurological department

Fam Pract. 2002 Jun;19(3):297-9. doi: 10.1093/fampra/19.3.297.


Background: The presence of neurological deficits as obtained from clinical examination increases the likelihood of detecting serious underlying brain disorders.

Objectives: In this study, we assessed the frequency of reported clinical neurological examination in patients referred to neurology.

Methods: We consecutively evaluated referrals to a neurological centre during a 6-month period.

Results: From a total of 716 patients, 377 (51%) had an examination reported in the referral letter. Clinical examinations were reported more often in patients with musculo-skeletal disorders compared with others, P = 0.0001. Examination was less likely to be reported in those with a history of disturbed consciousness.

Conclusion: By showing that only about half of the patients had an examination reported, the study demonstrates that the process of selecting those with a high priority for a secondary neurological service can be improved.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neurology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reflex, Abnormal