Research Article

Survey of general practitioners' attitudes to management of patients with heart attacks.

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 18 October 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:146
  1. J R Hampton,
  2. G K Morris,
  3. C Mason


    Out of 305 general practitioners sent a questionnaire asking how they would treat three hypothetical patients with heart attacks 231 (76%) replied. Of these, only 179 were prepared to make an unqualified choice of home or hospital treatment for a middle-aged man with an uncomplicated attack, 70 (39%) saying that they would keep the patient at home. Practitioners qualifying before 1960 were more likely to do this than those qualifying in 1960 or later. If a patient declined hospital treatment 161 (70%) of the practitioners would keep him in bed for a week or less, but the date of the practitioners' qualification significantly affected the time they would advise him to remain off work. Faced with a patient acutely ill after a heart attack, 162 (70%) of the practitioners would arrange his immediate admission to hospital and 51 (22%) would send him to hospital after initial treatment at home. The numbers of partners in the practice, the nature of the premises, and the location of the practice in urban or rural areas affected the practitioners' attitude to the management of severely ill patients but not to the management of patients with uncomplicated attacks.