Knowledge and attitudes of primary care physicians in the management of patients at risk for cardiovascular events

Adherence to clinical practice guidelines for management of cardiovascular disease is suboptimal. The purposes of this study were to identify practice patterns and barriers among U.S. general internists and family physicians in regard to cardiovascular risk management, and examine the association between physician characteristics and cardiovascular risk management.

Methods: A case vignette survey focused on cardiovascular disease risk management was distributed to a random sample of 12,000 U.S. family physicians and general internists between November and December 2006.

Results: Responses from a total of 888 practicing primary care physicians who see 60 patients per week were used for analysis. In an asymptomatic patient at low risk for cardiovascular event, 28% of family physicians and 37% of general internists made guideline-based preventive choices for no antiplatelet therapy (psee original