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Title: Delay to diagnosis and specialist consultation following anterior cruciate ligament injury : a study investigating the nature of, and factors associated with, pathway delay
Author: Ayre, Colin A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 6327
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: Historically the identification of ACL injuries upon initial presentation is low and considerable diagnostic delays have been reported. However, specific evidence on the individual elements of, and factors which influence delay, is lacking. Aims: The overarching aim was to provide a comprehensive picture of delay to diagnosis and specialist consultation, including factors which influence delay. An additional aim was to determine whether the approach to examining acute knee injuries varied as a consequence of varying patient presentation or experience of the assessing clinician. Methods: Study 1: Cross -sectional survey. Study 2: Non-participant direct observation methodology. Results: Data from 194 patients were analysed in the survey. Only 15.5% of patients were given a correct diagnosis of ACL rupture at the initial consultation. Median delay to diagnosis was 67.5 days (IQR= 15 to 178 days) and specialist consultation 108 days (IQR= 38 to 292 days). The factors most influential on delay were whether a follow-up appointment was arranged after attending A&E, whether the site of attendance operated an acute knee clinic and whether MRI was performed. The direct observation study showed wide variation in approach to injury assessment. Specialist clinicians performed the most comprehensive examination. A&E clinicians were more likely to assess for bony, neurovascular and gross tendon injuries as opposed to ligamentous or meniscal injury. Conclusions: The diagnostic rate of ACL injury at initial presentation remains low. Considerable delays to diagnosis and specialist consultation are apparent following ACL injury, the majority of which is attributable to health system delay.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ; Delayed diagnosis ; Delay to diagnosis ; Survey ; Questionnaire ; Direct observation ; Acute knee clinic