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Barriers to diagnosing and managing hypertension - a qualitative study in Australian general practice


Howes, F and Hansen, E and Williams, D and Nelson, M, Barriers to diagnosing and managing hypertension - a qualitative study in Australian general practice, Australian Family Physician, 39, (7) pp. 511-516. ISSN 0300-8495 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2010 to Australian Family Physician. Reproduced with permission. Permission to reproduce must be sought from the publisher, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

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Background Elevated blood pressure (BP) is a major modifiable risk factor. However hypertension still remains underdiagnosed, untreated or suboptimally treated. This study aimed to identify and explore barriers to initiating medication and treating elevated BP to target levels in the general practice setting. Methods Six focus groups involving 30 clinicians were audio recorded, transcribed in full and analysed for common emerging themes using an iterative thematic analysis. Results After making the decision to commence treatment, medication initiation was relatively straightforward. Clinical uncertainty about true underlying BP, distrust of measurement technology, and distrust of the evidence underpinning hypertension management were expressed. Patient age, gender and comorbidity influenced treatment strategy. Related themes included perceived patient attitude, clinical inertia, and patient centred care. Systems issues included lack of resources and lack of time. Discussion The management of an asymptomatic chronic disease within a patient centred, encounter based primary care context can be challenging.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:hypertension; guideline adherence; qualitative; general practice; antihypertensive agents/therapeutic use
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Primary health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Howes, F (Dr Faline Howes)
UTAS Author:Hansen, E (Dr Emily Hansen)
UTAS Author:Williams, D (Dr Danielle Williams)
UTAS Author:Nelson, M (Professor Mark Nelson)
ID Code:65367
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2010-11-09
Last Modified:2011-05-02
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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