BMJ open 2017 09 217(9) e015723 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015723
The aim of this study was to explore whether recording in primary care of a previously recorded hospital diagnosis was associated with increased patient utilisation of recommended medications.
Registry-based prospective cohort study.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
19 072 patients with a hospital discharge diagnosis of transient ischaemic attack (TIA), stroke or acute coronary syndrome from hospitals in Stockholm County 2010-2013 were included in the study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
The outcome of the study was medication dispensation as a marker of adherence to recommended medications. Adherence was defined as having had at least two filled prescriptions in the third year following hospital discharge.
Recording a diagnosis was associated with higher utilisation of all recommended medications with the exception of antihypertensives in patients with TIA. The differences between the groups with and without a recorded diagnosis remained after adjusting for age, sex, index year and visits to private practitioners. Dispensation of antithrombotics was high overall, 80%-90% in patients without a recorded diagnosis and 90%-94% for those with a diagnosis. Women with recorded ischaemic stroke/TIA/acute coronary syndrome were dispensed more statins (56%-71%) than those with no recorded diagnosis (46%-59%). Similarly, 68%-83% of men with a recorded diagnosis were dispensed statins (57%-77% in men with no recorded diagnosis). The rate of diagnosis recording spanned from 15% to 47% and was especially low in TIA (men 15%, women 16%).
Recording a diagnosis of TIA/stroke or acute coronary syndrome in primary care was found to be associated with higher dispensation of recommended secondary preventive medications. Further study is necessary in order to determine the mechanisms underlying our results and to establish the utility of our findings.