Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Referring physicians'' discordance with the primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator guidelines: a national survey.

Castellanos JM, Smith LM, Varosy PD, Dehlendorf C, Marcus GM. Referring physicians' discordance with the primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator guidelines: a national survey. Heart Rhythm. 2012 Jun 1; 9(6):874-81.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Heart Rhythm Society guidelines provide patient selection criteria for primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). For unknown reasons, guideline-discordant practice is common. OBJECTIVE: To determine referring physicians'' concordance with the primary prevention ICD guidelines. METHODS: We mailed a survey regarding ICD guidelines and individual practice characteristics to a random national sample of 3000 physicians selected from the American Medical Association Masterfile-one-third each specializing in family medicine, internal medicine, and general cardiology. RESULTS: Sixty-four percent with correct contact information responded. Three hundred ninety-five (28%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 25%-30%) respondents never refer patients with the intent of consideration for a primary prevention ICD, including 7% (95% CI 5%-10%) of cardiologists. Two hundred twelve (15%; 95% CI 13%-17%) believe ventricular arrhythmias are required before a primary prevention ICD is indicated; 525 (36%; 95% CI 34%-39%) believe that an ejection fraction of > 40% warrants a primary prevention ICD; and 361 (25%; 95% CI 23%-27%) would refer a patient for a primary prevention ICD within 40 days of a myocardial infarction. In multivariate analyses, family practice physicians and physicians residing in the western United States most often provided guideline-discordant answers, while cardiologists and those who refer to an electrophysiologist most often provided guideline-concordant answers. Primary care physicians who manage heart failure patients without referral to a subspecialist were not more likely to provide guideline-concordant answers. CONCLUSIONS: Answers discordant with the primary prevention ICD guidelines were common, suggesting that referring physician beliefs are an important barrier to appropriate patient referrals for primary prevention ICD implantation.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.