Category Archives: For General Practitioners

March 2019 PDF published

Part 2 of Medically Unexplained Symptoms this month.  Also antibiotics in cystitis, too many investigations in community acquired pneumonia, carotenaemia and heart murmurs in unwell children.  Do leave comments below:

February 2019 newsletter

NICE on honey this month.  And antibiotics in URTIs.  Also blueberry muffin syndrome courtesy of our dermatology contributor, medically unexplained symptoms from a great on line resource from MindEd (https://www.minded.org.uk/Component/Details/525083) and information for practitioners and young people and families after a first afebrile seizure.  Please do leave comments below:

January 2019 newsletter

Genetics this month and an explanation of the microarray test.  Managing measles contacts in the “lessons from the front line” section, use of a smartphone app for recording palpitations and the start of a new dermatology series – skin manifestations of systemic disease.  Do leave comments below.

December 2018 PDF

Christmas disease this month, acute psychosis in children, an Emoji guide to the workings of the facial nerve, sleep hygiene and the start of a 2 part series on measles.  Happy New Year and do leave comments below!

October 2018 newsletter

This month brings a handout entitled “Towards a healthy lifestyle…” which is a collaboration between dietitians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists and paediatricians at Homerton Hospital.  We have found many families are keen to do something about their child’s weight but don’t know where to start.  Hopefully this friendly article aiming for families to be “healthy enough” is a good place to start.

Also a bit on faltering growth, on-line safety, BRUE and the investigations that do not need to be done.  Tachycardia is (of course) mentioned again.  Do leave comments below.

September 2018 PDF content

September’s newsletter reminds us of the CPD requirements for child safeguarding for all of us, warns us of the dangers of missing Kawasaki Disease, talks about PHE’s #askaboutasthma campaign and describes the differences between fever and sepsis.  Do leave comments below:

August 2018 uploaded

August brings more returning travellers, this time with dengue fever.  Also adolescent sleep problems, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), an update on rhinitis and the neurological effects of rotavirus.  Do leave comments below.

July 2018 newsletter published

July 2018 brings HEADSSS as a communication tool in adolescent medicine this month, vaccine hesitancy, chikungunya, empyemas, a good headache course coming to London and appropriate use of the EEG.  Please do leave comments below.

HEADSSS tool

Using HEADSSS assessment by Dr Emma Parish

In the UK we often discuss our ageing population but sometimes fail to see the significant proportion of those in adolescence, between 12 – 19% of the total UK population in 20171.

Engaging this age group can be daunting for health professionals. HEADSSS is an interview prompt or psychosocial tool to use with young people. Still growing in the consciousness of health professionals (and in the letters making up its acronym) HEADS(SS) was first presented in publication in 19882. It has a reported yield of 1 in 3 for identifying concerns that warrant further investigation.

It follows a simple structure remembered by the acronym:

Home

Education & Employment

Activities

Drugs/Drinking

Sex

Self-harm, depression & suicide

Safety (including social media/online)

The great news is that many studies have shown that self-assessment with HEADSSS tools before discussion (completed at home or in waiting rooms) yields equal, and in some cases more, information than conducting the assessment in person. Helpful for time-strapped clinicians and better utilisation of time for young people attending appointments.

Key tips for using HEADSSS

  • Greet young person first, let them introduce others
  • Practice discussing issues that embarrass you
  • Be clear in what you mean by confidentiality relating to discussion
  • See young people on their own routinely (whenever clinically appropriate)
  • Use linking phrases and questions that don’t presume:
    • Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Vs

  • Do you have someone important in your life?
  • Have you been in a relationship before? Tell me more…

For more details see the RCPCH Young People’s Health Special Interest Group (YPSIG) app – free to download here: https://app.appinstitute.com/heeadsss

Or this short HEADS-ED assessment tool: http://www.heads-ed.com/en/headsed/HEADSED_Tool_p3751.html

  1. Association of Young People’s Health – Key Statistics Document 2017 download here: http://www.ayph.org.uk/keydata2017/FullVersion2017.pdf
  2. Cohen, E, MacKenzie, R.G., Yates, G.L. (1991). HEADSS, a psychosocial risk assessment instrument: Implications for designing effective intervention programs for runaway youth. Journal of Adolescent Health 12 (7): 539-544.

June 2018 PDF published

June 2018 features include the rotavirus immunisation, febrile myoclonus, investigating normochromic anaemia, complications of sinusitis and the first in our adolescence series.  Please do leave comments below: