Case-based training of evidence-based clinical practice in primary care and decreased mortality in patients with coronary heart disease

Ann Fam Med. 2011 May-Jun;9(3):211-8. doi: 10.1370/afm.1248.


Purpose: We investigated the 10-year mortality rates in a trial that tested a case-based intervention in primary care aimed at reducing the gap between evidence-based goals and clinical practice in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).

Methods: A prospective randomized controlled pragmatic trial was undertaken in a primary care setting. New evidence-based guidelines, with intensified lipid-lowering recommendations in CHD, were mailed to all general practitioners in the region and presented at a lecture in 1995. General practitioners (n = 54) and patients with CHD (n = 88) were assigned according to their primary health care center to 2 balanced groups and randomly allocated to usual care as a control or to an active intervention. General practitioners in the intervention group participated in repeated case-based training during a 2-year period. Patients whose CHD was treated by specialists (n = 167) served as an internal specialist comparison group. Altogether, 255 consecutive patients were included. Cox regression analysis was used to detect any survival benefit of the intervention.

Results: At 10 years, 22% of the patients in the intervention group had died as compared with 44% in the control group (P = .02), with a hazard ratio of 0.45 (95% confidence interval, 0.20-0.95). This difference was mainly due to reduced cardiovascular mortality in the intervention group (P = .01). In addition, the mortality rate of 22% in the intervention group was comparable to the rate of 23% seen in patients treated by a specialist.

Conclusions: Use of case-based training to implement evidence-based practice in primary care was associated with decreased mortality at 10 years in patients with CHD.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Competence
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality*
  • Educational Status
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Female
  • General Practitioners
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Problem-Based Learning / methods*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Sweden


  • Anticholesteremic Agents