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General practitioners’ hypertension knowledge and training needs: a survey in Xuhui district, Shanghai

Qian Chen, Xiangjie Zhang, Jie Gu, Tianhao Wang, Yuan Zhang and Shanzhu Zhu*

Author Affiliations

General Practice Department, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, 180 Fenglin Road, Shanghai, Xuhui District 200032, China

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BMC Family Practice 2013, 14:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-16

Published: 28 January 2013



Hypertension prevalence is high in China, while patients’ levels of hypertension awareness, treatment and control are low. General practitioners’ knowledge and training relating to hypertension prevention may be an important related factor. We aimed to investigate general practitioners’ knowledge of hypertension prevention and potential training needs.


A questionnaire survey was conducted among all general practitioners at five community health service centers selected by convenience sampling. A total of 160 questionnaires were distributed and 147 were returned (response rate 91.9%) The questionnaire included general information; 12 subjective questions on health promotion, education and training needs; and 19 objective questions in 5 domains (epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, referral and community management) measuring knowledge of hypertension prevention and treatment.


The major difficulties in health education practice for general practitioners were poor patient compliance (77.6%) and lack of medical consultation time (49.0%). The average accuracy rate of hypertension prevention knowledge was 49.2%, ranging from 10.5% to 94.7%. The factors associated with accuracy rate were physician’s education level (medical university vs. professional school, β = 13.3, P = 0.003), and type of center (training base vs. community healthcare center, β = 12.3, P < 0.0001). Most physicians (87.8%) reported being willing to attend training courses regularly and the preferred frequency was once every 2 ~ 3 months (53.5%). The preferred course was medical treatment of hypertension (82.3%) and the most favored training approach was expert lectures (80.3%).


The knowledge level of hypertension prevention is low among general practitioners in urban settings. Physicians working in community clinics where they participate in a series of teaching, assessing and evaluating systems for hypertension prevention perform better than those in general healthcare centers who lack specific training. Continuing hypertension education is urgently needed to ensure that physicians in general practice are aware of and adhere to the national hypertension prevention guidelines.

Awareness; General practitioner; Hypertension; Prevalence; Treatment