Statin prescribing in Australian and Irish general practice:a qualitative study

Research output: Research › Master's Thesis



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[Truncated abstract] Background: The prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease is a challenge for health systems internationally. Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are widely prescribed by general practitioners to reduce cardiovascular risk, and are costly to national health systems. Although many trials of statins exist, controversy lingers about how these drugs may be best prescribed. Areas of uncertainty include prescribing in primary prevention, to women, and to older patients, as well as questions about safety and cost-effectiveness. Further, evidence suggests that statin prescribing is not optimally tailored to patients at risk. Aim: To explore general practitioners’ decision-making about the prescribing of statins, and factors influencing this decision-making. Method: Semi-structured interviews were performed with 19 general practitioners (GPs) in Australia and Ireland. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using qualitative methods including coding of content and thematic analysis. Analysis and further interviews occurred in an iterative process. Results: Statin prescribing was found to be a common and sometimes challenging issue in general practice in both Australia and Ireland. Statin prescribing decision-making was a process which was individualised to different patients based on many factors, including notions of individual cardiovascular risk, as well as patient ideas, values and behaviours. Interviewees described a variable and flexible approach to shared decision-making, depending on risk as well as the ideas and agendas of both doctor and patient. Many influences were described on GP knowledge about statins, and in general, social and experiential factors seemed more influential than written or formal educational sources...
Original languageEnglish
StateUnpublished - 2012

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