Familial Hypercholesterolaemia in Primary Care: Knowledge and Practices among General Practitioners in Western Australia

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    Abstract

    Aim: To determine general practitioners' (GPs') knowledge and practice regarding familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in Western Australia. Method: A structured questionnaire was anonymously completed by GPs. Information was sought on awareness and knowledge of FH including, diagnosis, inheritance, prevalence, cardiovascular risk, management practices and opinions on FH screening. Results: 191 GPs completed the survey, 62% were familiar with FH, 80% correctly defined FH and 68% identified the typical lipid profile, but only 33% were aware of national guidelines. There were knowledge deficits in prevalence, inheritance, and clinical features of FH, with correct responses in 27%, 45% and 38%, respectively. Most (84%) GPs considered themselves the most effective health professionals to detect FH, with 90% preferring laboratory interpretative commenting to highlight individuals at risk of FH. GPs identified appropriate cholesterol lowering drugs as mono (95%) or combination therapies (74%). Conclusion: The majority of GPs considered they were the most effective health practitioners for managing FH and preferred laboratory reports to alert them of possible FH. Although GPs knowledge of cholesterol lowering therapies was good, their awareness of national guidelines, hereditability, prevalence and diagnostic features of FH was suboptimal. Implementing a community model of care for FH requires more extensive GP education. © 2013.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-313
    JournalHeart, Lung and Circulation
    Volume23
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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