Table 2

Occurrence (in absolute numbers) of working and final diagnosis categorised per organ system, distribution (in percentages) of referral directions for each organ diagnosis and number of diagnostic tests at initial assessment by the GP and during follow-up after initial assessment by the GP

Referral rates (% of all patients, n=281)Number of tests
Not referred by GP, %Specialist, not the same day, %Coronary care unit, %Emergency department otherwise, %Unknown, %Total number of tests at initial assesment (tests per patient)Total number of tests during follow-up time (tests per patient)
Absolute and relative numbers of organ-specific working diagnosis(working diagnosis known in 276 of 281 cases)Cardiac life- threateningn=49 (17.7%)10.238.812.230.68.241 (0.84)125 (2.55)
Cardiac non-life-threateningn=48 (17.4%)40.035.416.76.32.133 (0.69)79 (1.65)
Respiratory diseasen=26 (9.4%)69.211.507.711.527 (1.04)29 (1.12)
Gastro-intestinal diseasen=31 (11.2%)83.916.100014 (0.45)29 (0.94)
Musculoskeletal diseasen=72 (26.1%)76.411.11.44.26.923 (0.32)43 (0.60)
Psychological diseasen=47 (17.0%)85.112.82.10025 (0.53)42 (0.89)
Other or mild unspecifiedn=3 (1.1%)10000001 (0.33)1 (0.33)
Alln=28159.821.45.78.54.6164 (0.58)348 (1.24)
Absolute and relative numbers of organ-specific final diagnosis (final diagnosis known in 263 of 281 cases)Cardiac life- threateningn=22 (8.4%)18.240.913.622.74.512 (0.55)53 (2.41)
Cardiac non-life-threateningn=23 (8.7%)43.430.413.013.0017 (0.74)33 (1.43)
Respiratory diseasen=20 (7.6%)5520052019 (0.95)32 (1.60)
Gastro-intestinal diseasen=37 (14.1%)67.618.98.15.4020 (0.54)42 (1.14)
Musculoskeletal diseasen=93 (35.4%)70.010.86.54.38.659 (0.63)103 (1.11)
Psychological diseasen=48 (18.3%)7518.82.14.2024 
(0.50)
47 (0.98)
Other or mild unspecifiedn=20 (7.6%)6020002013 (0.65)38 (1.90)
Alln=28159.821.45.78.54.6164 (0.58)348 (1.24)
  • Registration of working diagnosis was available in 276 of the total number of 281 patients with chest pain. Registration of final diagnosis was completed in 263 of the total number of 281 patients with chest pain. Hyperventilation—although a respiratory diagnosis in the ICPC coding system—was included in ‘psychological disease’. Of all 281 patients, 59.8% were not referred by their GP. The majority of the referred patients were referred for further assessment not the same day. About 14.2% of patients were referred for direct assessment in a (cardiac) emergency setting. On the right side, the distribution of the 164 diagnostic tests at initial assessment by the GP and the 348 tests after initial assessment by the GP is shown per working, respectively final organ-specific diagnosis.

  • GP, General practitioner; ICPC, international classification of primary care.