Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 612572, 6 pages
Research Article

Clinical Gaze in Risk-Factor Haze: Swedish GPs’ Perceptions of Prescribing Cardiovascular Preventive Drugs

1Åby Health Care Centre, County Council of Östergötland, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, General Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 85 Linköping, Sweden
2Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsoe, Tromsoe, Norway
3Research Unit of Kalmar County Council, Kalmar, Sweden

Received 14 August 2012; Accepted 14 October 2012

Academic Editor: Ruth Kalda

Copyright © 2012 Josabeth Hultberg and Carl Edvard Rudebeck. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. To explore general practitioners’ (GPs’) descriptions of their thoughts and action when prescribing cardiovascular preventive drugs. Methods. Qualitative content analysis of transcribed group interviews with 14 participants from two primary health care centres in the southeast of Sweden. Results. GPs’ prescribing of cardiovascular preventive drugs, from their own descriptions, involved “the patient as calculated” and “the inclination to prescribe,” which were negotiated in the interaction with “the patient in front of me.” In situations with high cardiovascular risk, the GPs reported a tendency to adopt a directive consultation style. In situations with low cardiovascular risk and great uncertainty about the net benefit of preventive drugs, the GPs described a preference for an informed patient choice. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that GPs mainly involve patients at low and uncertain risk of cardiovascular disease in treatment decisions, whereas patient involvement tends to decrease when GPs judge the cardiovascular risk as high. Our findings may serve as a memento for clinicians, and we suggest them to be considered in training in communication skills.