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General practitioner perceptions of assessment and reporting of absolute cardiovascular disease risk via pathology services: a qualitative study

Chapman, N ORCID: 0000-0001-6317-5594, McWhirter, RE ORCID: 0000-0002-9409-8074, Schultz, MG ORCID: 0000-0003-3458-1811, Ezzy, D ORCID: 0000-0002-5078-2288, Nelson, MR ORCID: 0000-0001-9941-7161 and Sharman, JE ORCID: 0000-0003-2792-0811 2020 , 'General practitioner perceptions of assessment and reporting of absolute cardiovascular disease risk via pathology services: a qualitative study' , Family Practice , pp. 1-8 , doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmaa107.

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Abstract

Background: Guidelines for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention recommend assessment of absolute CVD risk to guide clinical management. Despite this, use among general practitioners (GPs) remains limited. Objective: Pathology services may provide an appropriate setting to assess and report absolute CVD risk in patients attending for cholesterol measurement. This study aimed to explore GPs perceptions of such a service. Methods: A focus group and semi-structured interviews were conducted with GPs (n = 18) in Tasmania, Australia, to identify perceptions of assessment and reporting of absolute CVD risk via pathology services. An example pathology report including absolute CVD risk was provided and discussed. Audio-recordings were transcribed and thematically coded by two researchers. Results: Almost all GPs identified that absolute CVD risk assessed and reported via pathology services could address deficits in practice. First, by reducing the number of appointments required to collect risk factors. Second, by providing a systematic (rather than opportunistic) approach for assessment of absolute CVD risk. Third, by reducing misclassification of patient CVD risk caused by overreliance on clinical intuition. All GPs reported they would order absolute CVD risk when issuing a cholesterol referral if such a service was offered. GPs recommended improving the service by providing information on methods used to measure risk factors on the pathology report. Conclusions: Absolute CVD risk assessed and reported via pathology services may address challenges of screening CVD risk experienced by GPs in practice and encourage dedicated follow-up care for CVD prevention.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chapman, N and McWhirter, RE and Schultz, MG and Ezzy, D and Nelson, MR and Sharman, JE
Keywords: community medicine, computers in medicine, health promotion, health risk behaviours, population health, screening
Journal or Publication Title: Family Practice
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
ISSN: 0263-2136
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/fampra/cmaa107
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 the authors

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