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J Cardiovasc Thorac Res. 2019;11(4):305-308. doi: 10.15171/jcvtr.2019.49. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Adherence to American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology guidelines for exercise tolerance test in cardiovascular clinics.

Author information

1
Department of Health Service Administration, School of Management and Information Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
2
Student Research Committee, Department of Health Service Administration, School of Management and Information Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
3
Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz Nephro-Urology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
4
Department of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
5
Shiraz Cardiovascular Research Center, Shiraz, Iran.
6
Department of Cardiology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction: Considering the increased expenditure in public health sector, especially the increased cost in hospitals and clinics, there is an urgent need to control these costs mainly by ensuring adherence to clinical guidelines for diagnostic procedures. In this study we aim to investigate the adherence of heart clinics to guideline for exercise tolerance test. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 308 patients who were referred for ECG exercise test in 3 clinics located in the city of Shiraz, Iran in 2018. Demographic and clinical data were recorded and the indications of exercise test for each patient was reviewed according to the ACC/AHA guideline for exercise tolerance test. Results: Exercise tests were found to be inappropriately done in 121 (39.3%) participants. Among the patients for whom the test was done without indication 79 (65.3%) were women and the gender difference was statistically significant (P < 0.01); women were 18.5% more likely to undergo exercise test without indication. There was more inappropriate tests among nonanginal pain subsets comparing to other presenting symptoms (P < 0.001). Age, coronary risk factors, reason for performing exercise tests and private health system were not predictors of inappropriate use (P > 0.05). Conclusion: This study confirms that more than one third of exercise tests done in the participants are inappropriate. Wide availability of exercise test makes it vulnerable to overuse and additional unnecessary cost to health care systems.

KEYWORDS:

Appropriate Use Criteria; Exercise Test; Guideline

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