Objective: To evaluate a patient questionnaire (HY-QUEST) to be completed at home before consulting in a hypertension clinic for the first time.
Methods: HY-QUEST is a questionnaire translated into patient language of the items from a standardized computerized medical record used since 1975 and regularly updated. This questionnaire contains 97 closed and seven free-text questions designed to evaluate cardiovascular risk and possible secondary hypertension, and to guide therapeutic strategy. One hundred and thirty-three new patients were asked to complete it at home and to bring it with them to their first visit in the hypertension clinic. The primary end-point was completeness of the answers. Other end-points were legibility and correctness of the answers.
Results: Questionnaires were available for 128 out of 133 patients (96%). More than 80% of the 97 closed questions were answered in 121 out of 128 questionnaires [94.6%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 90.7-98.5] and no question had a response rate less than 85%. The answers were legible in 85% of the closed questions and the concordance rate with the physician's assessment was 94%. Among the 101 treated patients, 72 (71.3%; 95% CI 62.5-80.1) were able to provide the correct names, doses and schedule of their antihypertensive treatments.
Conclusion: The HY-QUEST questionnaire can be completed by most patients with few missing or incorrect answers. It is well accepted by patients and provides useful information to orient the first consultation in a hypertension clinic. Whether the same approach is feasible and useful in primary care remains to be investigated.