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Quality of secondary prevention measures in TIA patients: a retrospective cohort study

Abstract

Objective Pharmacological and lifestyle interventions are recommended for the reduction of stroke risk in people who have had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). This study aimed to investigate the quality of secondary stroke prevention in primary care following diagnosis of TIA in a specialist clinic.

Methods Quality standards were identified from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) national clinical guideline for stroke and the general practice Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) indicators. Patients who were diagnosed with TIA between February and October 2009 were identified from a TIA clinic database. Achievement of quality standards was assessed 12–24 months following clinic attendance.

Results General practices were sent structured data collection forms for 233 patients, and the response rate was 80% (n=186). Complete data were available for 163 eligible patients (70%). Overall, 94% were prescribed antithrombotic medication. QOF standards were achieved by 82% for blood pressure (≤150/90 mm Hg) and 61% for total cholesterol (≤5.0 mmol/l). RCP standards were achieved by 35% for blood pressure (≤130/80 mm Hg) and 28% for total cholesterol (<4.0 mmol/l). RCP standards for the provision of dietary and exercise advice were achieved by 29% and 34% of patients, respectively.

Conclusion Only a minority of TIA patients achieved RCP standards whereas QOF standards were generally well achieved. Substantial benefits in terms of stroke prevention stand to be gained if risk factors are managed in line with more stringent RCP standards.

  • Stroke

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