Table 1

Diagnoses suspected by the referring physicians and at first assessment in the IAC

RASpondylarthropathyCTDFMS/CSSOsteoarthritis‘Other inflammatory’‘Other non-inflammatory’No diagnosis
All referral diagnoses (n=1036)325114913447137107181
GP (n=493)158 (32%)31 (6.3%)32 (6.5%)19 (3.9%)32 (6.5%)78 (15.8%)47 (9.5%)96 (19.5%)
Other specialist (n= 469)167 (35.6%)82 (17.5%)59 (12.6%)15 (3.2%)15 (3.2%)58 (12.4%)59 (12.6%)14 (3%)
Self-referred (n=74)01 (1.4%)0001 (1.4%)1 (1.4%)71 (95.9%)
Diagnoses suspected at first assessment in the IAC115 (11.1%)111 (10.7%)68 (6.6%)51 (4.9%)208 (20.1%)134 (12.9%)341 (32.9%)8 (0.8%)
  • Patients were referred to the IAC by their GP, by any other intramural or extramural specialist or they were self-referrals. Specialists tended to refer more patients suspected as CTD than GPs, whereas GPs suspected more osteoarthritis. It was remarkable that 19.5% of the patients referred to by a GP had no suspected diagnoses, even 3% of patients referred by other specialists were referred without provision of a specific suspected diagnosis. Substantially fewer patients were suspected of having RA by the rheumatologist compared with other specialists or GPs.

  • CSS, central sensitivity syndrome; CTD, connective tissue disease; FMS, fibromyalgia syndrome; GP, general practitioner; IAC, immediate access clinic; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.