Background Elevated blood pressure (BP) is
a major modifiable risk factor.
However hypertension still remains
underdiagnosed, untreated or
suboptimally treated. This study
aimed to identify and explore barriers
to initiating medication and treating
elevated BP to target levels in the
general practice setting.
Discussion The management of an asymptomatic
chronic disease within a patient centred,
encounter based primary care context
can be challenging.
Results After making the decision to commence
treatment, medication initiation was
relatively straightforward. Clinical
uncertainty about true underlying
BP, distrust of measurement
technology, and distrust of the
evidence underpinning hypertension
management were expressed. Patient
age, gender and comorbidity influenced
treatment strategy. Related themes
included perceived patient attitude,
clinical inertia, and patient centred
care. Systems issues included lack of
resources and lack of time.
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