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Scand J Prim Health Care. 1997 Sep;15(3):134-40.

Fifteen years with clinical guidelines in the treatment of hypertension--still discrepancies between intentions and practice.

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National Institute of Public Health, Community Medicine Research Unit, Verdal, Norway.



To assess physicians' current adherence to the Norwegian clinical guidelines for the treatment of hypertension.


Descriptive, retrospective registration of information from patient records of one specified year. In addition, mailed questionnaire to examine the representativeness of the participating doctors.


General practice in Sør- and Nord-Trøndelag counties in Norway, 380,000 inhabitants.


In one year 2468 patients were registered with the diagnosis of hypertension in the records of 56 general practitioners. The patients were 57% women and 43% men; 41% were 70 years or older.


Levels of blood pressure in accordance with the recommendations of the Norwegian clinical guidelines for hypertension. Fractions of patients with a measured blood pressure and serum cholesterol in one year.


At least one blood pressure was recorded in 95% of the hypertensive patients during the specified year. The systolic blood pressure was 140 mmHg or less in 25% and 160 mmHg or less in 65%, while the diastolic blood pressure was 90 mmHg or less in 61%. According to the Norwegian clinical guidelines for systolic blood pressure, 29% of the women and 21% of the men were above recommended levels for treatment. With respect to the diastolic blood pressure, the figures were 38% for women and 40% for men. Patients under 60 years of age were often not treated according to the recommendations. Serum cholesterol was not recorded during the specified year in 68% of the total group, nor in 55% of patients aged 65 years or younger.


There are still major discrepancies between current practice and the intentions laid down in the Norwegian clinical guidelines. A discussion of alternative methods for implementation and for evaluation of the efficacy of clinical guidelines is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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