Effectiveness of nurse-delivered cardiovascular risk management in primary care: a randomised trial

Helene R. Voogdt-Pruis*, G. H. M. I. Beusmans, A. P. M. Gorgels, A. D. M. Kester, J. W. Van Ree

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background A substantial part of cardiovascular disease prevention is delivered in primary care. Special attention should be paid to the assessment of cardiovascular risk factors. According to the Dutch guideline for cardiovascular risk management, the heavy workload of cardiovascular risk management for GPs could be shared with advanced practice nurses. Aim To investigate the clinical effectiveness of practice nurses acting as substitutes for GPs in cardiovascular risk management after 1 year of follow-up. Design of study Prospective pragmatic randomised trial. Setting Primary care in the south of the Netherlands. Six centres (25 GPs, six nurses) participated. Method A total of 1626 potentially eligible patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease were randomised to a practice nurse group (n = 808) or a GP group (n = 818) in 2006. In total, 701 patients were included in the trial. The Dutch guideline for cardiovascular risk management was used as the protocol, with standardised techniques for risk assessment. Changes in the following risk factors after 1 year were measured: lipids, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index. In addition, patients in the GP group received a brief questionnaire. Results A larger decrease in the mean level of risk factors was observed in the practice nurse group compared with the GP group. After controlling for confounders, only the larger decrease in total cholesterol in the practice nurse group was statistically significant (P = 0.01, two-sided). Conclusion Advanced practice nurses are achieving results, equal to or better than GPs for the management of risk factors. The findings of this study support the involvement of practice nurses in cardiovascular risk management in Dutch primary care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-46
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Volume60
Issue number570
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • general practice
  • general practitioners
  • prevention
  • primary care
  • risk factors

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