Aims and objectives To determine the opinion of primary care doctors regarding the cardiovascular risk tables, their degree of use in clinical practice and the specific difficulties encountered when using them.
Method Transversal descriptive study.
Location Primary Care, Madrid, Spain.
Participants Primary care doctors from four of Madrid's sanitary areas.
Principal measurements Anonymous self-administered questionnaire that studies age, gender, professional data, variables related with the opinion on cardiovascular risk tables, with their application in daily clinical practice, and main barriers for their use. A total of 34 closed questions and one open question were performed.
Results Four hundred and sixty-two questionnaires were received (46% replied). Ninety-three per cent agrees that prevention based on a global evaluation of cardiovascular risk is more convenient than the one based on an independent assessment of each factor. When a new diagnosis of hypertension or elevated cholesterol is performed, 45 and 52% respectively estimate the cardiovascular risk systematically. Twenty per cent uses this information to start a treatment for hypertension and 32% for raised cholesterol. Seventy-three per cent is aware of the tool available in the computer program to estimate the cardiovascular risk and 35% uses it. Eighty-seven per cent gives their patients information about cardiovascular risk. Main identified barriers: lack of time, lack of consensus and absence of computer support.
Conclusions Primary care doctors are aware of the need to estimate a global cardiovascular risk, recognize the usefulness of the tables but find problems in their practical application. In order to make their application feasible, tables should be simplified and unified, and their format should be improved.