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1.  Shared decision-making in antihypertensive therapy: a cluster randomised controlled trial 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:135.
Background
Hypertension is one of the key factors causing cardiovascular diseases. A substantial proportion of treated hypertensive patients do not reach recommended target blood pressure values. Shared decision making (SDM) is to enhance the active role of patients. As until now there exists little information on the effects of SDM training in antihypertensive therapy, we tested the effect of an SDM training programme for general practitioners (GPs). Our hypotheses are that this SDM training (1) enhances the participation of patients and (2) leads to an enhanced decrease in blood pressure (BP) values, compared to patients receiving usual care without prior SDM training for GPs.
Methods
The study was conducted as a cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) with GP practices in Southwest Germany. Each GP practice included patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension and/or with relevant comorbidity. After baseline assessment (T0) GP practices were randomly allocated into an intervention and a control arm. GPs of the intervention group took part in the SDM training. GPs of the control group treated their patients as usual. The intervention was blinded to the patients. Primary endpoints on patient level were (1) change of patients’ perceived participation (SDM-Q-9) and (2) change of systolic BP (24h-mean). Secondary endpoints were changes of (1) diastolic BP (24h-mean), (2) patients’ knowledge about hypertension, (3) adherence (MARS-D), and (4) cardiovascular risk score (CVR).
Results
In total 1357 patients from 36 general practices were screened for blood pressure control by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). Thereof 1120 patients remained in the study because of uncontrolled (but treated) hypertension and/or a relevant comorbidity. At T0 the intervention group involved 17 GP practices with 552 patients and the control group 19 GP practices with 568 patients. The effectiveness analysis could not demonstrate a significant or relevant effect of the SDM training on any of the endpoints.
Conclusion
The study hypothesis that the SDM training enhanced patients’ perceived participation and lowered their BP could not be confirmed. Further research is needed to examine the impact of patient participation on the treatment of hypertension in primary care.
Trial registration
German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS): DRKS00000125
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-135
PMCID: PMC3847233  PMID: 24024587
Hypertension; Shared decision-making; Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; Educational training; Primary care; Family medicine; Cluster randomised controlled trial
2.  Implementation of shared decision making by physician training to optimise hypertension treatment. Study protocol of a cluster-RCT 
Background
Hypertension is one of the key factors causing cardiovascular diseases which make up the most frequent cause of death in industrialised nations. However about 60% of hypertensive patients in Germany treated with antihypertensives do not reach the recommended target blood pressure. The involvement of patients in medical decision making fulfils not only an ethical imperative but, furthermore, has the potential of higher treatment success. One concept to enhance the active role of patients is shared decision making. Until now there exists little information on the effects of shared decision making trainings for general practitioners on patient participation and on lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
Methods/Design
In a cluster-randomised controlled trial 1800 patients receiving antihypertensives will be screened with 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in their general practitioners’ practices. Only patients who have not reached their blood pressure target (approximately 1200) will remain in the study (T1 – T3). General practitioners of the intervention group will take part in a shared decision making-training after baseline assessment (T0). General practitioners of the control group will treat their patients as usual. Primary endpoints are change of systolic blood pressure and change of patients’ perceived participation. Secondary endpoints are changes of diastolic blood pressure, knowledge, medical adherence and cardiovascular risk. Data analysis will be performed with mixed effects models.
Discussion
The hypothesis underlying this study is that shared decision making, realised by a shared decision making training for general practitioners, activates patients, facilitates patients’ empowerment and contributes to a better hypertension control. This study is the first one that tests this hypothesis with a (cluster-) randomised trial and a large sample size.
Trial registration
WHO International Clinical Trials: http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=DRKS00000125
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-73
PMCID: PMC3467178  PMID: 22966894
Arterial hypertension; Cardiovascular diseases; Cardiovascular risk; Shared decision making; Educational training; Blood pressure control; Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; Adherence; Primary care; Family medicine
3.  The direct thrombin inhibitor argatroban: a review of its use in patients with and without HIT 
Biologics : Targets & Therapy  2007;1(2):105-112.
Argatroban is a synthetic direct thrombin inhibitor with a relative short elimination half-life of 45 minutes and elimination which is predominantly performed via hepatic metabolism. Argatroban anticoagulation has been systematically studied in patients exhibiting the heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)/thrombosis syndrome and demonstrated to be a safe and effective therapy in this indication. Moreover, in smaller studies argatroban has also been assessed in special clinical settings in non-HIT patients. The current review presents the pharmacology of argatroban, data regarding monitoring of the agent, and an overview of the results of the major clinical trials assessing argatroban anticoagulation in HIT patients. Additionally, data from clinical trials with argatroban use outside HIT, in more special indications such as in percutaneous coronary intervention, stroke, renal replacement therapy, and intensive care medicine, are reviewed.
PMCID: PMC2721302  PMID: 19707320
anticoagulation; direct thrombin inhibitors; HIT

Results 1-3 (3)