Abstracts presented at 2016 Annual scientific conference of the Nigerian Medical Association Rivers Branch
Awareness and attitudes towards total cardiovascular disease risk assessment in clinical practice among physicians in southern Nigeria
*S Ofori, CM Wachukwu
Address: Cardiology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Alakahia, Port Harcourt.
*Correspondence: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background/Objective: Total CVD risk assessment is a cost-effective approach to guide primary preventive therapy. This study set out to determine the awareness, use, and attitudes regarding total cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment in clinical practice among physicians in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 150 physicians in government hospitals and private practices in Port Harcourt city. The characteristics of ‘users’ versus ‘non-users’ of CVD risk assessment tools were compared with the Chi-Square test of significance.
Results: 106 physicians completed the questionnaires. Seventy-four (69.8%) reported being aware of tools available to assess total CVD risk. Among those aware, 87.1% agreed that CVD risk assessment is useful, 81% agreed it improves patient care, 74.3% agreed it leads to better decisions about recommending preventive therapies and 60% agreed that it increased the likelihood that they would recommend risk-reducing therapies to high-risk patients. However, 62.9% of these physicians felt it was time-wasting to use and only 21 (28.4%) actually use CVD risk assessment regularly in practice. The most commonly reported barrier was unfamiliarity with how to use risk estimation tools (52.8%). Female sex and the use of an Internet-enabled smartphone were associated with increased odds of being a ‘user’ of risk estimation tools (odds ratios 4.8, CI 1.4-16.9; and 5.9, CI 1.7-20.0, respectively).
Conclusion: Utilization of risk assessments in clinical practice is low. A major barrier was non-familiarity with how to use the tools. Continuous medical education and wider use of smartphone technology may represent health system approaches to tackling this issue.
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