[Perceptions of heart failure diagnosis and management: comparison between clinical cardiologists and family doctors]

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2006 Aug;87(2):167-73. doi: 10.1590/s0066-782x2006001500015.
[Article in Portuguese]


Objective: To compare the perceptions of heart failure (HF) diagnosis and management between clinical cardiologists (CC) and family doctors (FD) in the city of Niterói.

Methods: A qualitative questionnaire, validated by the EURO-HF study, was submitted to 54 FD and 62 CC. These professionals supplied the following information: HF diagnosis; availability of complementary tests; which tests were used more often; names, dosages and adverse effects of the medications prescribed; and which pharmaceuticals reduced mortality.

Results: FD and CC reported that the most common signs and symptoms identified by HF patients were: dyspnea, edema and fatigue (96.3% vs. 100%, 74% vs. 58% and 22.2% vs. 67.7%). The HF classification method used most often by FD was mild/moderate/severe (53.8%) while the CC used the NYHA method (72.7%) more often. CC request echocardiograms more often than FD (p < 0.001). CC differentiate HF with preserved systolic function from HF with systolic dysfunction more often than FD (p < 0.001). CC use beta-blockers (p < 0.001), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (p < 0.001) and spironolactone (p < 0.001) more often than FD. The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor dosages used by CC are greater than those used by FD (p < 0.001) and the spironolactone dosages used by CC are closer to those recommended in medical literature.

Conclusion: CC use a more intensive investigative diagnosis and medications that are more effective in reducing morbidity and mortality rates for HF patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cardiac Output, Low / diagnosis*
  • Cardiac Output, Low / drug therapy
  • Cardiology*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires