Health Services Research & Development

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Lowenstern A, Navar AM, Li S, Virani SS, Goldberg AC, Louie MJ, Lee LV, Peterson ED, Wang TY. Association of Clinician Knowledge and Statin Beliefs With Statin Therapy Use and Lipid Levels (A Survey of US Practice in the PALM Registry). The American journal of cardiology. 2019 Apr 1; 123(7):1011-1018.
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Abstract: Guideline implementation requires clinician knowledge but may be influenced by pre-existing beliefs and biases. We assessed the association of these clinician factors with lipid management following the release of the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol guidelines. In the PALM registry, 774 clinicians completed a survey to assess their knowledge of the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines, belief in statin benefit, and statin safety concerns. The association of these factors with statin use, statin dosing, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were assessed in the 6,839 patients treated by these clinicians between May and November 2015. Overall, 63.9% of clinicians responded to at least 3 out of 4 hypothetical scenarios in concordance with guideline recommendations (good tested knowledge), 88.4% reported belief in statin benefit, and 15.4% raised concerns about statin safety. Belief in statin benefit was more prevalent among cardiologists, who represented 48.8% of the clinicians surveyed, and concerns regarding statin safety were higher among noncardiologists and clinicians in an academic setting. Guideline knowledge was not associated with a difference in statin use (74.1% vs 73.8%, p?=?0.84) and achievement of LDL-C level <100 mg/dl (54.7% vs 52.4%, p?=?0.07). However, patients treated by clinicians who reported belief in statin benefit were more likely to receive guideline-recommended statin intensity (41.9% vs 36.9%, p?=?0.03), whereas patients treated by clinicians expressing statin safety concerns were less likely receive statins of at least guideline-recommended intensity (36.8% vs 42.5%, p?=?0.001) and to achieve an LDL-C <100 mg/dl (44.1% vs 56.1%, p <0.001); the latter persisted after multivariable adjustment (odds ratio 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.63 to 0.89). In conclusion, clinician beliefs regarding benefits and risks of statins were significantly associated with guideline adherence and patients' achieved LDL-C levels, whereas clinician knowledge of guideline recommendations was not.