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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Apr;19(2):258-66. doi: 10.1177/1741826711400510. Epub 2011 Mar 4.

Recording of risk-factors and lifestyle counselling in patients at high risk for cardiovascular diseases in European primary care.

Author information

  • 1University Hospital of Heidelberg, Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, Voßstrasse 2, Heidelberg, Germany. sabine.ludt@med.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Detection and registration of high risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) by assessing individual's absolute cardiovascular risk is recommended in clinical guidelines. Effective interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk are available, but not optimally implemented. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of cardiovascular risk-factor recording and lifestyle counselling in high-risk patients in European primary care and to identify factors related to these clinical processes.

METHODS:

An international cross-sectional observational study was conducted in stratified samples of primary care practices in nine European countries. Patient records were audited, using a structured data-abstraction tool based on internationally developed quality indicators. To identify factors associated with the recording, additional data were collected in a patient survey. Descriptive and multilevel data analyses were conducted.

RESULTS:

In 268 general practices across Europe, 3723 records of individuals at high risk for cardiovascular diseases were audited. We found important variations in the quality of documentation of risk factors and lifestyle interventions. Recording of risk factors was best for blood pressure (92.5% of audited records, 95% CI 0.89-0.96). Lifestyle advice was recorded best for smoking cessation (65.6%, 95% CI 0.58-0.73) and worst for physical activity (38.8%, 95% CI 0.31-0.47). Of the study population, 50.6% (0.42-0.59) had elevated blood pressure levels, 59.8% (0.51-0.69) had total cholesterol >5 mmol/l, and 30.5% (0.22-0.39) were smokers. Multivariate analyses showed that recording of risk factors and counselling were related to specific patient characteristics more than to country effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Analysis of different country results can be helpful for developing quality-improvement strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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