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PDAs, more education help doctors follow cholesterol treatment guidelines
Date:4/22/2009

atient's risk of heart disease, and then considered LDL-cholesterol levels before recommending a drug dosage or no treatment at all, according to the ATP III guidelines.

To test the theory that using multiple tools would help physicians adhere to the clinical practice guideline for treating high cholesterol, the researchers randomly assigned the participating practices into two groups. One group of physicians received the ATP III-focused intervention including PDAs and the other group received an intervention which focused more on a guideline for high blood pressure. All providers received education about both guidelines.

In both groups, screening for high cholesterol increased during the study period. The guideline recommends that adults be screened every five years. In the group that used the PDAs, the level of appropriate treatment decisions remained relatively stable, while the incidence of over-treatment decreased. In contrast, in the group that did not use the PDAs, the percentage of cases that received appropriate cholesterol management decreased by nearly nine percent and the occurrence of over-treatment, or the prescribing of drugs even though the guidelines did not recommend it, increased from 4.2 percent to 6.4 percent of cases.

"This is not the final answer yet, but it does suggest that having this multifaceted approach and having a technological tool helping physicians make decisions might make a difference in the future," said David Goff, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in and chairman of the Department of Epidemiology & Prevention, and lead investigator for the study.


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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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