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Systematic review of implementation strategies for risk tables in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Authors van Steenkiste B, Grol R, van der Weijden T

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:4(3) Pages 535—545


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Ben van Steenkiste, Richard Grol, Trudy van der Weijden

Centre for Quality of Care Research, School for Public Health and Primary Care (Caphri), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Background: Cardiovascular disease prevention is guided by so-called risk tables for calculating individual’s risk numbers. However, they are not widely used in routine practice and it is important to understand the conditions for their use.

Objectives: Systematic review of the literature on professionals’ performance regarding cardiovascular risk tables, in order to develop effective implementation strategies.

Selection criteria: Studies were eligible for inclusion if they reported quantitative empirical data on the effect of professional, financial, organizational or regulatory strategies on the implementation of cardiovascular risk tables. Participants were physicians or nurses.

Outcome measure: Primary: professionals’ self-reported performance related to actual use of cardiovascular risk tables. Secondary: patients’ cardiovascular risk reduction.

Data collection and analysis: An extensive strategy was used to search MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PSYCHINFO from database inception to February 2007.

Main results: The review included 9 studies, covering 3 types of implementation strategies (or combinations). Reported effects were moderate, sometimes conflicting and contradictory. Although no clear relation was observed between a particular type of strategy and success or failure of the implementation, promising strategies for patient selection and risk assessment seem to be teamwork, nurse led-clinics and integrated IT support.

Conclusions: Implementation strategies for cardiovascular risk tables have been sparsely studied. Future research on implementation of cardiovascular risk tables needs better embedding in the systematic and problem-based approaches developed in implementation science.

Keywords: systematic review, implementation, cardiovascular diseases, primary prevention

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