Prevention of cardiovascular disease in rural Australian primary care

An exploratory study of the perspectives of clinicians and high-risk men

Leigh Kinsman*, Rachel Tham, Julie Symons, Mike Jones, Stephen Campbell, Ann Allenby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Rural primary care services have the potential to play a major role in reducing the gap in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes between rural and metropolitan Australians, particularly in men at high risk of CVD. The aim of this study was to explore the self-reported behaviours and satisfaction with their general practice/practitioner of men at high risk of CVD, and attitudes of rural primary care clinicians regarding the role of primary care in CVD prevention. This observational research was addressed through survey questionnaires with rural men at high risk of CVD and semi-structured interviews with rural primary care clinicians. Fourteen rural primary care practices from towns with populations less than 25000 participated. One hundred and fifty-eight high-risk men completed the questionnaire. Their responses demonstrated poorly controlled risk factors despite a willingness to change. Alternatively, rural primary care clinicians (n≤20) reported that patients were unlikely to change and that illness-based funding models inhibited cardiovascular preventive activities. Australians living in rural areas have worse CVD outcomes. In addition, there is a disparity in the assumptions of health providers and male patients at high risk of CVD in rural areas. This necessitates innovative rural primary care models that include a blended payment system that incentivises or funds preventive care alongside an emphasis on lifestyle advice, as well as an explicit strategy to influence clinician and patient behaviour to help address the disparity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • health policy
  • health services research
  • primary health care
  • primary prevention
  • rural health.

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