Characteristics Of Referrals To An Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic
A retrospective study, in which 685 referrals to the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMFS) were analysed for sources, disease prevalence, concordance in diagnosis and time lapse before presentation. 363(53.0%) patients were males and 322(47.0%) were females. Patients ranged in age from one day to 80 years with a mean age of 27.5 ± SD years. General Medical Practitioners (GMPS) sent the most referrals (507 or 74.0%), specialist medical practitioners (SMPs) sent 86(12.6%) and general dental practitioners (GDPs) sent 59(8.6%) referrals. The medical specialty with most referrals was paediatrics (29.0 % of the SMPs referrals). 44.5% of the referrals had no provisional diagnosis, a 34.5% concordance in diagnosis with the OMFS was observed and 86.7% of referrals were sent without preliminary management. In 72.1% of the cases, the medical information in the referral letter was considered inadequate. Time lapse between referral and presentation to the OMFS was between one day and 10 years. Enlightenment of the public and the medical profession on the scope of the specialty is suggested.
Keywords: Referrals, Maxillofacial Surgeon, Clinic
Annals of Biomedical Science Vol. 1 (1) 2002: pp. 38-44