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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 503821, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/503821
Research Article

Physicians’ Perceptions and Adherence to Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension: A National, Multicentre, Prospective Study

1Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management, Open University of Cyprus, 1304 Nicosia, Cyprus
2Hypertension Unit, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece
3Department of Health Services Organization and Management, National School of Public Health, 196 Alexandras Avenue, 11522 Athens, Greece
4Centre for Health Services Management and Evaluation, Department of Nursing, University of Athens, 11527 Athens, Greece
5Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20422, USA

Received 18 May 2012; Revised 15 October 2012; Accepted 17 October 2012

Academic Editor: Kazuomi Kario

Copyright © 2012 Mamas Theodorou et al. 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.

Abstract

Background. The aim of the current study was to investigate physicians’ perceptions and adherence to the European guidelines for the management of hypertension. Methods. This is a national, multicentre, prospective, observational study, conducted between November 2007 and June 2008, in Cyprus. Consecutive hypertensive patients have been recruited by a random sample of physicians. The physicians’ recommendations for every single patient have been recorded and compared with the 2007 ESH/ESC guidelines. Results. Of the total of 654 patients, 477 (72.9%) were correctly advised by their physician to receive antihypertensive treatment to control their blood pressure, while 396 (60.5%) correctly got advices to adopt only lifestyle changes. The overall adherence of physicians to the European guidelines (overall agreement rate) was 70.4% ( , ). Of the total of 68 physicians, 65 (95.6%) reported that they were aware of some guidelines. There was no statistically significant effect of specific physicians’ characteristics on the overall adherence to guidelines, but there was in the percentage of patients achieving medication guidelines. Conclusions. The study demonstrated that although Cypriot physicians declared that they were aware of the clinical guidelines for the management of hypertension, more than one-fourth of high risk hypertensive patients remained untreated and 40% of low risk patients received inappropriate medication.