Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2011 Sep;22(5):941-8
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia.
Although there has been significant progress in the management of hypertension, rates for control of this chronic disease in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has been shown to be very low. This study was aimed to assess the knowledge of primary health care (PHC) physicians and the extent of their adherence to the recommendations of clinical practice guidelines concerning care of hypertensive patients. The assessment was made in the Aseer region of KSA using a modified version of the World Health Organization "Physician Inquiry Questionnaire." Only 5.6% of the participants measured blood pressure (BP) with the patient in sitting and other postures. Variable sphygmomanometer cuff sizes for different patients were used by 56.5% of the participants, while 74.8% correctly recorded the diastolic BP at Koratkoff sound, phase- 5. Among non- diabetics, the correct diagnosis of systolic and diastolic hypertension was reported by 76.7% and 81.4% respectively, of the PHC physicians. Among diabetics, the correct diagnosis of systolic and diastolic hypertension was reported by 36% and 17.1% of the PHC physicians, respectively. Most physicians inquired about cardiovascular risk factors. Several important items of patients' clinical examination were not completely covered by physicians, e.g., fundus examination (75.2%). PHC physicians missed a few investigations and laboratory tests, e.g., ECG (87.9%), serum creatinine (88.2%) and lipid profile (89.8%). Less than one- fifth of the physicians correctly chose the thiazide diuretics as the preferred initial anti- hypertensive agent (19.9%). Almost two- thirds of the physicians (65.2%) emphasized the importance of BP self- measurement, 89.8% encouraged patients to use a reminder system while 96.3% motivated patients for BP control. Measures for lifestyle modification included weight reduction (98.8%), sodium restriction (97.5%), physical exercise (96.3%) and behavioral improvement (87.6%). Our study suggests that continuing medical education and training courses on guidelines for hypertension management should be arranged for PHC physicians in Aseer.
Download full-text PDF