Self-reported hypertension treatment beliefs and practices of primary care physicians in a managed care organization.
ABSTRACT Blood pressure (BP) is controlled to recommended goal in less than one-third of people with hypertension. There has been little recent research on physician beliefs and practices with regard to the treatment of hypertension.
In late 1999, we surveyed 104 primary care physicians in the 18 owned clinics of a large staff model, non-profit health maintenance organization. The survey included questions about demographics, BP treatment goals for patients with uncomplicated hypertension, and beliefs about hypertension.
The reported systolic BP treatment goal was < or =140 mm Hg for 97% and the diastolic BP goal was < or =90 mm Hg for 100%. The systolic BP goal for patients with isolated systolic hypertension was < or =140 mm Hg for 82%, but 34% stated that they would treat to a different goal depending on the diastolic BP. The proportions of physicians who would intensify treatment for BP of 140/90 mm Hg, 150/95 mm Hg, 165/75 mm Hg, and 165/65 mm Hg were 64%, 97%, 89% and 77%, respectively. Although 93% believed that medication was necessary to control BP in most cases, a majority (55%) agreed with the statement that BP could be controlled in most patients with only one drug. Although 42% reported that they often had to change drugs because of side effects, only 16% believed that it was time-consuming to find a well-tolerated drug regimen.
In this setting, primary care physicians' self-reported practices were in good agreement with national guidelines put forth in the late 1990s, and their beliefs were favorable to therapy. Our data point to a need for interventions to emphasize that combination drug therapy is frequently required to achieve BP control, and that more aggressive intervention is often warranted for isolated systolic hypertension.
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ABSTRACT: We examined physician perception of blood pressure control and treatment behavior in patients with previous cardiovascular disease and uncontrolled hypertension as defined by European Guidelines. A cross-sectional study was conducted in which 321 primary care physicians throughout Spain consecutively studied 1,614 patients aged ≥18 years who had been diagnosed and treated for hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg), and had suffered a documented cardiovascular event. The mean value of three blood pressure measurements taken using standardized procedures was used for statistical analysis. Mean blood pressure was 143.4/84.9 mmHg, and only 11.6% of these cardiovascular patients were controlled according to 2007 European Guidelines for Hypertension Management target of <130/80 mmHg. In 702 (49.2%) of the 1426 uncontrolled patients, antihypertensive medication was not changed, and in 480 (68.4%) of these cases this was due to the physicians judgment that blood pressure was adequately controlled. In 320 (66.7%) of the latter patients, blood pressure was 130-139/80-89 mmHg. Blood pressure level was the main factor associated (inversely) with no change in treatment due to physician perception of adequate control, irrespective of sociodemographic and clinical factors. Physicians do not change antihypertensive treatment in many uncontrolled cardiovascular patients because they considered it unnecessary, especially when the BP values are only slightly above the guideline target. It is possible that the guidelines may be correct, but there is also the possibility that the care by the physicians is appropriate since BP <130/80 mmHg is hard to achieve, and recent reviews suggest there is insufficient evidence to support such a low BP target.PLoS ONE 09/2011; 6(9):e24569. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0024569 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To provide an educational update for the nurse practitioner (NP) on the care of patients with hypertension, particularly in high-risk populations. Barriers to reaching blood pressure goals are reviewed in the context of identifying and addressing the sequelae of uncontrolled hypertension. Available antihypertensive agents are reviewed, including a description of direct renin inhibition with aliskiren, the newest agent and antihypertensive class available. Treatment recommendations are discussed in light of recent clinical trial data demonstrating improved cardiovascular (CV) outcomes, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and death. Clinical studies and state-of-the-art articles indexed on PubMed Current hypertension guidelines provide detailed management strategies, particularly for patients at high risk for CV events. NPs may help improve CV outcomes through careful diagnosis, risk stratification, and disease management, including improved patient education of the benefits of rational and sustained management of hypertension. Early diagnosis, evidence-based treatment, and ongoing disease management of hypertension can be expected to improve CV outcomes. Treatment initiation with combination therapy, preferably with single-pill combinations that incorporate an agent that modulates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, provides an approach that is safe, effective, and well tolerated and which can be tailored to the needs of the individual patient.Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 05/2011; 23(5):239-48. DOI:10.1111/j.1745-7599.2010.00589.x · 0.87 Impact Factor