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A descriptive analysis of ambulatory neurological care in Elche, Alicante
AIM. To conduct a descriptive study of the welfare work carried out during one year in visits to ambulatory outpatient neurology clinics in the health district of Elche.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We carried out a prospective study of data from the first visits to two outpatient neurology clinics between 1st May 2005 and 30th April 2006.
RESULTS. A total of 3229 first-time visits were attended, with a mean age of 56.8 years (SD: 21) and 62% were females. The incidence of first-time visits was 18.9 per 1000 inhabitants over the age of 14 years per year. In all, 18% missed their appointments. Results showed that 93.9% of the visits came from Primary Care, with a total mean delay of 30.6 days (16.1 days in the preferential cases and 35.8 in ordinary cases). The most frequent reasons for referral were: headaches (27.2%), cognitive disorders (15.9%), applications for visas or orthopaedic material (8.3%), impaired levels of consciousness/paroxysms with suspected epilepsy (7.3%), dizziness/instability/vertigo (6.8%) and tremor (5.9%). The most frequent diagnoses were headache (28% of the total number; 41.35% of the group less than 65 years old), cognitive impairment (12.24% of the total number; 28.9% of the group equal or more than 65 years old), cerebrovascular disease (8.7%) and epilepsy (5.1%). Patients with a non-neurological pathology accounted for 21.8% of the total number.