BACKGROUND: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is an important cause of hospital admission and death, but the extent of the problem of CAP at the primary healthcare level is largely unknown.
AIMS: To investigate the contribution of general practitioners (GPs) to the management of patients with CAP in the Netherlands.
METHODS: The study population consisted of all people enlisted in a GP network. We obtained information on CAP episodes from GP electronic records (using ICPC code R81) during the years 2002-2009. CAP registrations were also obtained from national hospital discharge data (ICD-9 codes) and cause of death statistics (ICD-10 codes). The three registration systems were linked at the individual level. We used descriptive analyses to estimate the annual number of CAP episodes (i.e. defined as a CAP diagnosis within 30 days).
RESULTS: From 2002 to 2009 the mean annual size of the study population was 395,039. For this population, 3,700 (0.9%) CAP episodes per year were registered in at least one of the registration systems, 2,933 (79%) of which were in the GP system only. Recovery within 30 days occurred on average in 95% (2,791/2,933) of the CAP episodes annually registered by a GP, while 2.3% (67/2,933) of patients with a GP-registered CAP episode were admitted to hospital within 30 days and 1% (26/2,933) had a fatal outcome within 30 days.
CONCLUSIONS: The vast majority of CAP episodes registered in the Netherlands are managed successfully at the GP level without hospitalisation.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Community-Acquired Infections/therapy
- Databases, Factual
- Disease Management
- General Practice/statistics & numerical data
- Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
- Middle Aged
- Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data
- Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data
- Retrospective Studies
- Young Adult