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Healthy Communities: GP care for patients with chronic conditions in 2009–2013 - Report - Glossary

Healthy Communities: GP care for patients with chronic conditions in 2009–2013

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Actively managed Involves the care and monitoring of a patient’s health condition by a GP.
Acute health condition A medical condition that comes on suddenly and lasts for a limited time.
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) Occurs when there is restricted or totally obstructed blood flow, causing death of muscle in an area of the heart. Commonly referred to as a heart attack.
Allied health professional A health professional who is not a doctor, nurse or dentist; the term includes physiotherapists, psychologists and dieticians.
Anxiety disorder Clinically significant anxiety that is not restricted to any particular situation, including anxiety neurosis and panic disorder, with or without physical symptoms.
Arthritis A chronic disease of the joints. Common forms include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Asthma A chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, a feeling of constriction in the chest, shortness of breath and coughing.
Cancer General term covering a variety of malignancies, whereby gene damage causes cells to multiply, invade and spread without control.
Cardiovascular Relating to the heart, blood vessels and circulation.
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) Commonly known as a stroke, whereby a cerebral haemorrhage causes brain damage or, blockage of cerebral vessels which restricts or stops blood flow to the brain resulting in death of brain cells.
Chronic back pain Refers to pain in the spine of three months or more and outlasting the usual healing process.
Chronic condition A medical condition characterised by a combination of the following characteristics: duration that has lasted or is expected to last six months or more, a pattern of recurrence or deterioration, a poor prognosis, and consequences that impact on an individual’s quality of life.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) A group of diseases that affect the lungs and airways. It is defined by limited airflow as a result of breakdown of lung tissue and obstruction of the small airways.
Clinical treatments Clinical treatments performed may include general and specific advice, counselling (e.g. for weight loss, smoking, medication) or education, family planning and administrative processes (e.g. providing a medical certificate).
Common chronic condition For the purposes of this report, a chronic medical condition that occurs frequently among people in the community and in general practice patients.
Congestive heart failure A clinical syndrome due to heart disease, characterized by breathlessness and abnormal sodium and water retention, often resulting in oedema (swelling).
Consultation A face-to-face professional interchange between a patient and a health professional to discuss a health concern.
Depression A mood disorder with prolonged feelings of sadness and hopelessness, which is often accompanied by low self-esteem, a loss of interest in activities, and suicidal thoughts or self-blame.
Diabetes type 1 One of the two major types of diabetes mellitus: an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of cells in the pancreas, leading to loss of the ability to secrete insulin. It has an abrupt onset, and insulin injections are required to sustain life; peak age of onset is 12 years. Also called insulindependent, juvenile, juvenile-onset, and Type I d. mellitus.
Diabetes type 2 One of the two major types of diabetes mellitus, with a peak age of onset between 50 and 60 years and a gradual development with few early symptoms. Dietary control with or without oral hypoglycaemic drugs is usually effective. Insulin injections are not usually needed. Diagnosis is based on pathology tests indicating glucose resistance. Called also adult-onset, maturity-onset, non-insulin-dependent, and Type II d. mellitus.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) A common condition in which the liquid contents of the stomach reflux back up into the oesophagus (food pipe).
General practitioner (GP) A medical practitioner who provides primary comprehensive and continuing care to patients and their families within the community (RACGP).
GP management occasion A consultation in which a GP takes clinical action, such as prescribing medication, to manage the patient’s chronic condition
Hyperlipidaemia The presence of abnormally high levels of lipids (fats) such as cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Hypertension Occurs when the blood is persistently pumping at a higher pressure than normal through the arteries. This can contribute to a number of conditions or diseases including heart attack, kidney disease or stroke.
Imaging Production of diagnostic images; for example CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), X-rays, ultrasound and nuclear medicine scans.
Insomnia Insomnia means difficulty with either falling or staying asleep. It is one of a number of sleep disorders.
Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) A disease characterised by reduced blood supply to the heart. Also called coronary heart disease. It is the most common form of cardiovascular disease. May take the form of a heart attack (see also acute myocardial infarction) and/or angina (a chronic condition when a temporary loss of blood supply to the heart causes periodic chest pain).
Morbidity Any departure, subjective or objective, from a state of physiological wellbeing. In this sense, sickness, illness and morbid conditions are synonymous.
Multimorbidity Refers to when two or more chronic medical conditions occur in one person.
Not available for publication (NP) This applies when data are not able to be published for reasons related to reliability, validity and/or confidentiality. Methods used to determine whether a statistic is published are included in the report’s Technical Supplement.
Obesity A person whose body mass index (BMI) was greater than or equal to 30.
Oesteoarthritis A chronic and common form of arthritis, affecting mostly the spine, hips, knees and hands. It can first appear from the age of about 30 and is more common and severe with increasing age.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) Peripheral vascular disease is the reduced circulation of blood to a body part other than the brain or heart. It is caused by narrowed or blocked arteries.
Prescription drugs Pharmaceutical medicines only available on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner and only available from pharmacies.
Primary Health Networks The Australian Government announced in the 2014–15 Budget that new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) will begin operations from 1 July 2015. Primary Health Networks will play a critical role in connecting health services across local communities so that patients, particularly those needing coordinated care, have the best access to a range of health care providers, including practitioners, community health services and hospitals. PHNs will work directly with GPs, other primary care providers, secondary care providers and hospitals.
Psychotropics Psychotropic medicines act on the central nervous system to affect perception, mood, consciousness, cognition and/or behaviour. Examples include antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedatives.
Referral The process by which the responsibility for part, or all, of the care of a patients is temporarily transferred to another health care provider.
Rheumatoid arthritis A chronic, multisystem disease whose most prominent feature is joint inflammation and resulting damage, most often affecting the hand joints in symmetrical fashion. Can occur in all age groups but most commonly appears between ages 20 and 40.
Selected cardiovascular risk condition For the purposes of this report, data were used to identify patients, of any age, with cardiovascular risk conditions based on clinical guidelines to support the prevention or management of: ischaemic heart disease - including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), cerebrovascular disease and stroke, and heart failure.
Statins Drugs used to lower plasma lipoproteins and cholesterol.
Stroke See CVA.

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