Primary care perceptions of the prevalence, diagnosis and management of coccydynia: Results of a web-based survey of Devon general practitioners
Hourigan P., Clarke A., Challinor H., Powell J., Hutton MJ.
Purpose: The purpose of this study to take a snapshot opinion of general practitioner (GP) understanding of the prevalence, diagnosis, and management of coccydynia. Methodology: We designed a simple 5-question survey to administer to our local GPs. The survey was sent to 107 GP practices in Devon whose details were provided by The Devon Access Referral Team. We received 150 electronic replies. We also submitted the survey to 50 GPs who attended a study day at our institution - and ensured they had not already completed the electronic format of the same work. Thus, we received 200 replies which we believe to be a representative sample of our local GPs opinion. Results: Fifty-one percent of GPs correctly identified the prevalence of the condition. Thirty-nine percent believed the condition to be associated with an underlying psychological disorder. Fifty-two percent believed there was no proven treatment for the condition. Only twenty-two percent would consider referring the patient to any secondary care service that dealt with chronic spinal pain (pain clinic, rheumatology or spinal surgery) even if the symptoms persisted beyond 3 months duration. Seventy-three percent believed surgery was madness or had a less than 20% chance of relieving symptoms. Conclusion: Coccydynia is a painful condition, causing significant distress for those suffering with the condition. Primary care physicians seem reluctant to recognize the problem as significant and reluctant to refer patients for treatment that may offer significant symptomatic relief. Education about the condition is required. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd and the British Institute of Musculoskeletal Medicine 2013.