Project:

Blood pressure in primary care survey: A GP questionnaire survey

From January 2004 to April 2004
Project Leader(s): Prof Richard Thomson
Staff: Dr Meng Khaw, Mr Nick Clement
Contact: Prof Richard Thomson
Sponsors: School of Population and Health Sciences

Background - Hypertension is very common and forms a substantial part of a General Practitioner’s (GP) workload. Currently there is little evidence concerning GPs’ opinions of hypertension management.

Aim - To investigate the current practice of GPs and their behaviour regarding the management of hypertension.

Objectives - To explore the attitudes and present practice of GP’s on the implications of implementing British Hypertension Society (BHS) guidelines and the new General Medical Services (GMS) contract on the management of hypertension.

Design
Setting: Newcastle and North Tyneside
Participants: General Practitioners
Main outcome measures: Attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control.

Methods - A postal questionnaire survey was sent to a random sample of 179 GPs in Newcastle and North Tyneside to seek their views on the management of hypertension. Results: The response rate was 38.1%. 85.4% of GPs currently use the BHS guidelines. General attitudes towards hypertension management were moderately positive. However, attitudes towards BHS guidelines and the GMS contract were only weakly positive. GPs estimated 30-39% of 65-74yr olds and 40-49% of 75+yr olds are hypertensive. However, national surveys indicate 73% of 65yr olds and over are hypertensive, which may be recognised by the GPs with implementation of the GMS contract.

Conclusions - GPs regard hypertension management with a positive attitude, but their positive attitude towards policy is not as strong. The BHS guidelines are accepted and used by the majority of GPs. Although GPs are receptive towards the GMS contract, it may unexpectedly generate an unmanageable workload for them.

Conference Presentations

  • NoREN Annual Research Presentation, Durham, November 2004.

Staff

Professor Richard Thomson
Professor of Epidemiology & Public Hlth