We undertook a study to ascertain what factors general practitioners consider important when referring children for tonsillectomy, and to compare these views with those of consultant ENT surgeons.
Web-based questionnaire study.
A total of 141 general practitioners and 146 consultants responded. Tonsillectomy in children was regarded as a useful operation by 65 per cent of general practitioners and 98 per cent of consultant ENT surgeons. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001, chi-square test). In 1994, Donnelly et al. found that 92 per cent of general practitioners considered tonsillectomy in children a useful operation; our results were significantly different (p < 0.001, chi-square test).
There is a good level of awareness and agreement on the currently accepted indications for paediatric tonsillectomy in both groups. However, there were important areas of difference between the two groups with regard to ‘glue ear’, recurrent ear infections and snoring. Standardised indications for tonsillectomy should be effectively disseminated to general practitioners.
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