GPs' Perceptions of Cardiovascular Risk and Views on Patient Compliance: A Qualitative Interview Study.
AuthorBarfoed, Benedicte Lind; Jarbøl, Dorte Ejg; Paulsen, Maja Skov; Christensen, Palle Mark; Halvorsen, Peder Andreas; Nielsen, Jesper Bo; Søndergaard, Jens
Objective. General practitioners’ (GPs’) perception of risk is a cornerstone of preventive care. The aims of this interview study were to explore GPs’ professional and personal attitudes and experiences regarding treatment with lipid-lowering drugs and their views on patient compliance. Methods. The material was drawn from semistructured qualitative interviews. We sampled GPs purposively from ten selected practices, ensuring diversity of demographic, professional, and personal characteristics.The GPs were encouraged to describe examples from their own practices and reflect on them and were informed that the focus was their personal attitudes and experiences. Systematic text condensation was applied for analysis in order to uncover the concepts and themes. Results. The analysis revealed the following 3 main themes: (1) use of cardiovascular guidelines and risk assessment tools, (2) strategies for managing patient compliance, and (3) GPs’ own risk management. There were substantial differences in the attitudes concerning all three themes. Conclusions. The substantial differences in the GPs’ personal and professional risk perceptions may be a key to understanding why GPs do not always follow cardiovascular guidelines. The impact on daily clinical practice, personal consultation style, and patient behaviour with regard to prevention is worth studying further.