Acceptance of guideline recommendations and perceived implementation of coronary heart disease prevention among primary care physicians in five European countries: the Reassessing European Attitudes about Cardiovascular Treatment (REACT) survey.
BACKGROUND: Although primary care is the major target of coronary heart disease (CHD) clinical recommendations, little is known of how community physicians view guidelines and their implementation. The REACT survey was designed to assess the views, and perceived implementation, of CHD and lipid treatment guidelines among primary care physicians. METHODS: Semi-structured validated telephone interviews were conducted, in the relevant native tongue, with 754 randomly selected primary care physicians (GPs and family doctors) in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK). RESULTS: Most physicians (89%) agreed with the content of current guidelines and reported use of them (81%). However, only 18% of physicians believed that guidelines were being implemented to a major extent. Key barriers to greater implementation of guidelines were seen as lack of time (38% of all physicians), prescription costs (30%), and patient compliance (17%). Suggestions for ways to improve implementation centred on more education, both for physicians themselves (29%) and patients (25%); promoting, publicizing or increasing guideline availability (23%); simplifying the guidelines (17%); and making them clearer (12%). Physicians perceived diabetes to be the most important risk factor for CHD, followed by hypertension and raised LDL-C. Most physicians (92%) believe their patients do associate high cholesterol levels with CHD. After establishing that a patient is 'at risk' of CHD, physicians reported spending an average of 16.5 minutes discussing risk factors and lifestyle changes or treatment that is required. Factors preventing this included insufficient time (42%), having too many other patients to see (27%) and feeling that patients did not listen or understand anyway (21%). CONCLUSIONS: Primary care physicians need more information and support on the implementation of CHD and cholesterol guideline recommendations. This need is recognized by clinicians.
The Healthy Heart Kit (HHK) is a risk management and patient education kit for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the promotion of CV health. There are currently no published data examining predictors of HHK use by physicians. The main objective of this study was to examine the association between physicians' characteristics (socio-demographic, cognitive, and behavioural) and the use of the HHK.
All registered family physicians in Alberta (n=3068) were invited to participate in the "Healthy Heart Kit" Study. Consenting physicians (n=153) received the Kit and were requested to use it for two months. At the end of this period, a questionnaire collected data on the frequency of Kit use by physicians, as well as socio-demographic, cognitive, and behavioural variables pertaining to the physicians.
The questionnaire was returned by 115 physicians (follow-up rate = 75%). On a scale ranging from 0 to 100, the mean score of Kit use was 61 [SD=26]. A multiple linear regression showed that "agreement with the Kit" and the degree of "confidence in using the Kit" was strongly associated with Kit use, explaining 46% of the variability for Kit use. Time since graduation was inversely associated with Kit use, and a trend was observed for smaller practices to be associated with lower use.
Given these findings, future research and practice should explore innovative strategies to gain initial agreement among physicians to employ such clinical tools. Participation of older physicians and solo-practitioners in this process should be emphasized.
BACKGROUND: The most heavily discussed subject on Eyr, the Norwegian mailing list for general practitioners, has been the introduction of a general practice list system (GPLS). MATERIAL AND METHODS: All messages in the GPLS debate were recorded from its start in August 1996 up until the GPLS was introduced nationwide in June 2001. RESULTS: During this period, 243 different persons posted 2,153 messages about the GPLS, 232 of the participants were physicians, 203 of them GPs. Mean age was 46 years; males were strongly overrepresented (87%). 80% of the participants posted ten or fewer messages, 10% posted 11-20 messages, and 10% posted more than 20 messages. GPs sent most of their messages in the evenings, academics and public health officers sent most of their messages during work hours. Mean length of the messages was 179 words, 72% were responses to earlier messages. Most of the messages were neutral regarding the GPLS, 207 (9.6%) were negative, and 181 (8.4%) positive. Academics, public health officers, and participants in a GPLS trial were heavily overrepresented with positive messages. INTERPRETATION: It is concluded that this debate has been fairly balanced. Participation greatly exceeded what would have been possible in traditional media.
Patients and GPs were asked about necessity and possible prevention of contacts to the out of hour service. 4187 (83.9%) of the GP questionnaires and 1493 (52.3%) of the patient questionnaires were returned. According to the GPs 25% of the contacts were not necessary and 5% were not necessary according to the patients. Patients and GPs agreed that contacts concerning old people were most necessary. GPs assessed contacts concerning children relatively more necessary. Patients assessed contacts concerning middle-aged relatively more necessary. Frequent users were assessed less necessary according to GPs but more necessary according to the users themselves. Many contacts could have been prevented according to both GPs and patients--especially within the first five hours of the service. Concordance between a patient's and a GPs answer was bad (kappa = 0.0-0.2). Concordance between the GPs answering the phone and the GPs examining the patient was only slightly better (kappa = 0.1-0.3).
To evaluate the appropriateness of potential data sources for the population of performance indicators for primary care (PC) practices.
This project was a cross sectional study of 7 multidisciplinary primary care teams in Ontario, Canada. Practices were recruited and 5-7 physicians per practice agreed to participate in the study. Patients of participating physicians (20-30) were recruited sequentially as they presented to attend a visit. Data collection included patient, provider and practice surveys, chart abstraction and linkage to administrative data sets. Matched pairs analysis was used to examine the differences in the observed results for each indicator obtained using multiple data sources.
Seven teams, 41 physicians, 94 associated staff and 998 patients were recruited. The survey response rate was 81% for patients, 93% for physicians and 83% for associated staff. Chart audits were successfully completed on all but 1 patient and linkage to administrative data was successful for all subjects. There were significant differences noted between the data collection methods for many measures. No single method of data collection was best for all outcomes. For most measures of technical quality of care chart audit was the most accurate method of data collection. Patient surveys were more accurate for immunizations, chronic disease advice/information dispensed, some general health promotion items and possibly for medication use. Administrative data appears useful for indicators including chronic disease diagnosis and osteoporosis/ breast screening.
Multiple data collection methods are required for a comprehensive assessment of performance in primary care practices. The choice of which methods are best for any one particular study or quality improvement initiative requires careful consideration of the biases that each method might introduce into the results. In this study, both patients and providers were willing to participate in and consent to, the collection and linkage of information from multiple sources that would be required for such assessments.
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General practitioners' evaluation of Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC) has become a part of the Norwegian system of quality indicators. On the basis of a national survey, we present the way in which GPs have assessed the quality of 77 CMHCs.
A questionnaire was posted to every GP in Norway from November 2005 to March 2006. This was followed up with 2-3 reminders and telephone interviews. 2,415 out of 3,704 GPs (65%) responded.
GPs gave highest score for professional competence, the average being 55 on a scale of 0-100, where 100 is best. They gave lowest score for counselling (30) and staff situation (45). The average score given to the various CMHCs varied a lot for all dimensions, the largest difference being for counselling, with the highest average 58 and the lowest 8. There were many significant differences between various CMHCs' scores and the national average. When it came to counselling, the average score for 20 CMHCs was significantly different from that for the other CMHCs.
As GPs are important collaborators and users of the CMHCs, their views are valuable. The present findings need to be discussed. Many of the community mental health centres received all in all positive feedback from the GPs, suggesting that they may have useful experiences to share.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2007 Jan 4;127(1):64-5; author reply 6517205097
Peer-assessment processes with chart review have been used for many years to assess the clinical performance of physicians. The Quebec medical licensing authority has been required by provincial law to assess the practicing Quebec physicians on a nonvoluntary basis. During the period from January 2001 to November 2004, 25 family physicians in active practice were randomly selected from a pool of about 300. For each physician, 25 to 40 patients' medical charts were randomly selected to evaluate the interrater reliability of peer-review assessment of medical charts and to compare ratings based on chart review with a chart-stimulated recall interview to those based on chart review alone. The concordance between chart review alone and that of chart review with chart-stimulated recall interview was 75% for chart keeping, 69% for clinical investigation, 81% for diagnostic accuracy, and 74% for treatment plan. Ratings based on chart review alone achieve moderate levels of reliability (Kappa = 0.44 to 0.56). It appears that some important information about quality of care is missed when only chart review is used.
Recent studies have indicated deteriorated working conditions of health care personnel. To have an efficient health care organization requires good working conditions and the well-being of the personnel. Today there are no "gold-standard" assessment tools measuring psychosocial working conditions. The aim of this study was to develop two valid and reliable questionnaires, one generic and one specific, measuring psychosocial working conditions for general practitioners (GPs) and district nurses (DNs) in Sweden, with a special emphasis on organizational changes. The construction of the questionnaires were made after a stepwise developing phase including literature review, interviews, and a pilot study. The pilot study included GPs n = 42 and DNs n = 39. The questionnaires were later on used in a main study (GPs n = 465, DNs n = 465). A factor analysis was carried out and showed that there were fewer items in the main study that had factor loading > or = 0.40 in more than one factor, compared to the pilot study. The factors from the main study were easier to label and had good correspondence with other studies. After this stepwise development phase good construct validity and internal consistency were established for the questionnaire.
OBJECTIVE: General practitioner (GP) involvement may be instrumental in obtaining successful palliative cancer trajectories. The aim of the study was to examine associations between bereaved relatives' evaluation of palliative cancer trajectories, place of death, and GP involvement. DESIGN: Population-based, cross-sectional combined register and questionnaire study. SETTING: The former Aarhus County, Denmark. SUBJECTS: Questionnaire data on GPs' palliative efforts and relatives' evaluations of the palliative trajectories were obtained for 153 cases of deceased cancer patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A successful palliative trajectory as evaluated retrospectively by the relatives. RESULTS: Successful palliative trajectories were statistically significantly associated with home death (PR 1.48 (95% CI 1.04; 2.12)). No significant associations were identified between the evaluations of the palliative trajectory at home and GP involvement. "Relative living with patient" (PR 1.75 (95% CI: 0.87; 3.53)) and "GP having contact with relatives" (PR 1.69 (95% CI 0.55; 5.19)) were not significantly associated, but this may be due to the poor number of cases included in the final analysis. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that home death is positively associated with a higher likelihood that bereaved relatives will evaluate the palliative trajectory at home as successful. No specific GP services that were statistically significantly associated with higher satisfaction among relatives could be identified, but contact between GPs and relatives seems important and the impact needs further investigation.