Adherence to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for chronic heart failure - A national survey of the cardiologists in Pakistan
1 Internal Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta GA, USA
2 Internal Medicine, University of Connecticut, Farmington CT, USA
3 Neurology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland OH, USA
4 Neurosurgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
5 Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan
6 Medical College, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
7 Khyber Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan
8 Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2011, 11:68 doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-68Published: 17 November 2011
The aims of this study were to evaluate the awareness of and attitudes towards the 2005 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines for Heart Failure (HF) of the cardiologists in Pakistan and assess barriers to adherence to guidelines.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in person from March to July 2009 to all cardiologists practicing in 4 major cities in Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar). A validated, semi-structured questionnaire assessing ESC 2005 Guidelines for HF was used to obtain information from cardiologists. It included questions about awareness and relevance of HF guidelines (See Additional File 1). Respondents' management choices were compared with those of an expert panel based on the guidelines for three fictitious patient cases. Cardiologists were also asked about major barriers to adherence to guidelines.
A total of 372 cardiologists were approached; 305 consented to participate (overall response rate, 82.0%). The survey showed a very high awareness of CHF guidelines; 97.4% aware of any guideline. About 13.8% considered ESC guidelines as relevant or very relevant for guiding treatment decisions while 92.8% chose AHA guidelines in relevance. 87.2% of respondents perceived that they adhered to the HF guidelines. For the patient cases, the proportions of respondents who made recommendations that completely matched those of the guidelines were 7% (Scenario 1), 0% (Scenario 2) and 20% (Scenario 3). Respondents considered patient compliance (59%) and cost/health economics (50%) as major barriers to guideline implementation.
We found important self reported departures from recommended HF management guidelines among cardiologists of Pakistan.