1Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University, College of Medicine. firstname.lastname@example.org 2Inha University, School of Nursing. 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Asan Medical Center. 4Center for Interoperable EHR. 5National Cancer Center.
OBJECTIVES: Little is known about the physician-related factors that are associated with the management of hypertension. The purpose of this study was to determine the physician-related factors associated with blood pressure control in hypertensive patients. METHODS: We surveyed 154 physicians at 117 public health (subhealth) centers in Gyeonggi-do. Forty-one physicians completed the survey (response rates: 26.6%) and 31 physicians were finally included as the study subjects. Using the information obtained from the selfreported survey, we measured the physician-related factors associated with hypertension control, including their perception of hypertension, prescription patterns (combination prescription rates, specific antihypertensives prescription rates among patients with diabetes mellitus), and sociodemographic factors. We then collected data on blood pressure and medication use in patients seen by these physicians from the health center's information system. We compared the physicians' perceived hypertension control rates with the actual rates, and then evaluated the rate of high overestimation (overestimation by more than 25% of the median degree of hypertension control rate overestimation) among the physicians. The physicians' antihypertensive prescription patterns were also evaluated. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the independent association between hypertension control and physicianrelated factors. RESULTS: The physicians tended to overestimate the proportion of their patients with controlled blood pressure (79.5% perceived vs. 57.8% actual). The percentage of physicians with high overestimation was 35.5% (11 physicians). The physicians with lower control rates were more likely to highly overestimate their patients' control rates. Physicians with below-median actual control rates tended to prescribe fewer combination treatments for patients with uncontrolled blood pressure and angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors or fewer angiotensin receptor blockers for patients with diabetes mellitus. The rate of high overestimation by physicians was 1.31 times higher in patients with uncontrolled blood pressure than in patients with other conditions (OR=1.31, 95% CI: 1.17-1.48). CONCLUSIONS: Physicians have a tendency to overestimate the rates of hypertension control in their patients. Because physicians have a direct role in treatment outcomes, physicians' overestimation about hypertension management contributes to inadequate blood pressure control. Thus, interventions for improving physician' awareness regarding the management of patients with hypertension are needed.