The impact and acceptability of a central register on the standard of monitoring of lithium therapy: professional and patient perspectives
Design A pilot study with a before and after audit, with questionnaires for clinicians and patients.
Setting General medical practices in Leicestershire from two localities.
Participants 17 practices, 91 patients and 42 clinicians.
Interventions Setting up a central lithium register which sent out regular reminders to patients for blood tests. An educational meeting was also held.
Main outcome measures Audit results for compliance with evidence-based criteria and patient satisfaction.
Results There appeared to be more frequent monitoring of lithium levels (+10.2%), renal function (+19.0%) and issuing of patient-held lithium cards. However, the second data collection included several practices that did not take part in the first audit. Both clinicians (response rate 60%) and patients (response rate 42%) expressed satisfaction and wished the register to continue.
Conclusion A central system of call and recall probably improves the quality of monitoring of patients on lithium and is acceptable to clinicians (both psychiatrists and general practitioners) and patients.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Director, Leicestershire Primary Care Audit Group, Leicester, UK 2: Consultant Pathologist, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, UK 3: General Practitioner, Sileby, Leicestershire, UK 4: Consultant Psychiatrist, Leicestershire & Rutland Healthcare Trust, Leicester, UK 5: Clinical Governance Manager, South Charnwood Primary Care Group, Leicester, UK 6: Manager, Leicestershire Primary Care Audit Group, Leicester, UK
Publication date: 01 September 2002