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BMC Res Notes. 2010 Nov 22;3:316. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-3-316.

Are primary care practitioners in Barbados following hypertension guidelines? - a chart audit.

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1
Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, St, Michael, Barbados. peter.adams@cavehill.uwi.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

About 55% of the population 40 to 80 years of age in Barbados is hypertensive. The quality of hypertension primary care compared to available practice guidelines is uncertain.

FINDINGS:

Charts of hypertensive and diabetic patients were randomly sampled at all public and 20 private sector primary care clinics. Charts of all hypertensive patients ≥ 40 years of age were then selected and processes of care and blood pressure (BP) maintenance < 140/90 documented.343 charts of hypertensive patients (170 public, and 173 private) were audited. Patients had the following characteristics: mean age 64 years, female gender 63%, mean duration of diagnosis 9.1 years, and diabetes diagnosed 58%. Patients had an average of 4.7 clinic visits per year, 70% were prescribed a thiazide diuretic, 42% a calcium channel blocker, 40% an angiotensin receptor blocker, and 19% a beta blocker. Public patients compared to private patients were more likely to be female (73% vs. 52%, p < 0.01); have a longer duration of diagnosis (11.7 vs. 6.5 years, p < 0.01), and more clinic visits per year (5.0 vs. 4.5, p < 0.01). Over a 2 year period, the proportion of charts with the following recorded at least once was: BP 98%, weight 80%, total cholesterol 71%, urine tested for albumin 67%, serum creatinine 59%, dietary advice 55%, lipid profile 48%, exercise advice 45%, fasting blood glucose for non-diabetics 39%, dietician referral 21%, tobacco advice 17%, retinal examination 16%, body mass index 1%, and waist circumference 0%. Public patients were more likely to have recorded: weight (92% vs. 68%, p = < 0.01); tests for total cholesterol (77% vs. 67%, p = 0.04), albuminuria (77% vs. 58%, p = < 0.01), serum creatinine (75% vs. 43%, p < 0.01), and fasting blood glucose for non-diabetics (49% vs. 30%, p = 0.02); dietician referral (34% vs. 9%, p < 0.01), and tobacco advice (24% vs. 10%, p < 0.01). Most (92%) diastolic BP readings ended in 0 or 5 (72% ended in 0). At the last visit 36% of patients had a BP < 140/90 mmHg.

CONCLUSIONS:

Improvements are needed in following guidelines for basic interventions such as body mass assessment, accurate BP measurement, use of thiazide diuretics and lifestyle advice. BP control is inadequate.

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