|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
BACKGROUND. Little is known about the current management of angina pectoris in general practice. AIM. This survey set out to assess general practitioners' perceptions of current investigation and treatment for angina pectoris. METHOD. A postal questionnaire was sent to all 217 general practitioners listed with the Hampshire Family Health Services Authority who have access to a regional cardiac centre in Southampton. RESULTS. The response rate was 79% (171 of 217). The majority (80%) of general practitioners reported referring 10% or fewer of their patients with angina to a cardiologist at the regional centre, and 72% reported referring a quarter or fewer of their patients to a hospital physician. Most (77%) considered an exercise test useful for diagnosis of angina, but almost half (47%) were uncertain about its prognostic value. Most respondents (79%) were not confident of interpreting the results of an exercise test. The majority (79%) believed that there was scientific evidence to show that coronary angioplasty relieves symptoms and 21% were of the opinion that it prolongs survival. Ninety six per cent believed coronary artery bypass grafting relieves symptoms and 62% that it prolongs survival. CONCLUSION. General practitioners do not appear to refer the majority of patients with angina pectoris for hospital investigation, and express divergent and contradictory opinions about exercise testing and the scientific evidence for the benefits of coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery. Easier access to cardiological investigation and population based data about the value of exercise testing and survival benefits from coronary intervention are required to optimize selection of patients in the community who are most likely to benefit from coronary revascularization.