A quasi-experimental test of an intervention to increase the use of thiazide-based treatment regimens for people with hypertension

General Medicine Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
Implementation Science (Impact Factor: 4.12). 02/2007; 2(1):5. DOI: 10.1186/1748-5908-2-5
Source: PubMed


Despite recent high-quality evidence for their cost-effectiveness, thiazides are underused for controlling hypertension. The goal of this study was to design and test a practice-based intervention aimed at increasing the use of thiazide-based antihypertensive regimens.
This quasi-experimental study was carried out in general medicine ambulatory practices of a large, academically-affiliated Veterans Affairs hospital. The intervention group consisted of the practitioners (13 staff and 215 trainees), nurses, and patients (3,502) of the teaching practice; non-randomized concurrent controls were the practitioners (31 providers) and patients (18,292) of the non-teaching practices. Design of the implementation intervention was based on Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations model. Over 10.5 months, intervention teams met weekly or biweekly and developed and disseminated informational materials among themselves and to trainees, patients, and administrators. These teams also reviewed summary electronic-medical-record data on thiazide use and blood pressure (BP) goal attainment. Outcome measures were the proportion of hypertensive patients prescribed a thiazide-based regimen, and the proportion of hypertensive patients attaining BP goals regardless of regimen. Thirty-three months of time-series data were available; statistical process control charts, change point analyses, and before-after analyses were used to estimate the intervention's effects.
Baseline use of thiazides and rates of BP control were higher in the intervention group than controls. During the intervention, thiazide use and BP control increased in both groups, but changes occurred earlier in the intervention group, and primary change points were observed only in the intervention group. Overall, the pre-post intervention difference in proportion of patients prescribed thiazides was greater in intervention patients (0.091 vs. 0.058; p = 0.0092), as was the proportion achieving BP goals (0.092 vs. 0.044; p = 0.0005). At the end of the implementation period, 41.4% of intervention patients were prescribed thiazides vs. 30.6% of controls (p < 0.001); 51.6% of intervention patients had achieved BP goals vs. 44.3% of controls (p < 0.001).
This multi-faceted intervention appears to have resulted in modest improvements in thiazide prescribing and BP control. The study also demonstrates the value of electronic medical records for implementation research, how Rogers' model can be used to design and launch an implementation strategy, and how all members of a clinical microsystem can be involved in an implementation effort.

16 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our goal was to develop an interactive DVD to help African American and Caucasian American adults with hypertension learn how to become better communicators during medical interactions. Material was to be presented in several formats, including patients' narratives (stories). To develop the narratives we recruited members of the target audience and elicited stories and story units in focus groups, interviews, and seminars. Story units were ranked-ordered based on conformance with the theory of planned behavior and narrative qualities and then melded into cohesive stories. The stories were recounted by actors on the DVD. 55 adults (84% women; 93% African American) participated in a focus group, interview, or seminar; transcripts yielded 120 story units. The most highly rated units were woven into 11 stories. The six highest rated stories/actor-storytellers were selected for presentation on the DVD. We achieved our goal of developing an easy-to-use, story-driven product that may teach adults how to talk effectively with their doctors about hypertension. The DVD's effectiveness should be tested in a randomized trial. Behavioral interventions aimed at improving patients' ability to communicate during doctor visits may be useful adjuncts in the achievement of BP goals.
    Patient Education and Counseling 10/2009; 79(2):245-50. DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2009.09.021 · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source

    Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 09/2010; 3(5):558-64. DOI:10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.109.913137 · 5.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The American Heart Association (AHA) published guidelines for treatment of resistant hypertension in 2008 recommending use of thiazide diuretics (particularly chlorthalidone), aldosterone antagonists, and fixed-dose combination medications, but it is unclear the extent to which these guidelines are being followed. To describe trends in physician use of recommended medications for resistant hypertension and assess variations in medication use based on geography, physician specialty and patient characteristics. Cross-sectional analysis using the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006 to 2010. We analyzed visits of hypertension patients to family physicians, general internists, and cardiologists. Resistant hypertension was defined as concurrent use of ≥ 4 classes of blood pressure (BP) medications or elevated BP despite the use of ≥ 3 medications. Pregnant patients and visits with diagnosed heart failure or end-stage renal disease were excluded. Use of AHA-recommended medications for management of resistant hypertension. Of 19,500 patient visits with hypertension, 1,567 or 7.1 % CI (6.6-7.7 %) met criteria for resistant hypertension. Thiazide diuretic use was reported in 58.9 % of visits pre-guidelines vs. 54.8 % post-guidelines (p = 0.37). Use of aldosterone antagonists was low and also did not change significantly after guideline publication (3.1 % vs. 4.5 %, p = 0.27). Fixed-dose combinations use was 42.0 % before and 37 % after guideline publication (p = 0.29). Each 10-year increase in patient age was associated with lower thiazide use (OR 0.87, CI 0.77-0.97), as was presence of comorbid ischemic heart disease (OR 0.62, CI 0.41-0.94). Medication use did not vary by geography or physician specialty. Use of AHA-recommended medications for resistant hypertension remains low after publication of guidelines. Healthcare systems should encourage more frequent prescribing of these medications to improve care in this high-risk population.
    Journal of General Internal Medicine 11/2013; 29(3). DOI:10.1007/s11606-013-2683-y · 3.42 Impact Factor
Show more