QOF 'fails' heart patients

The quality framework has failed to promote a healthier lifestyle or improve the quality of life for patients with CHD, UK research suggests.

The findings are based on a study of 903 patients with CHD, average age of 67, from 48 practices.

Sixteen of the practices were in Northern Ireland where the quality framework exists, while the remaining practices were in the Republic of Ireland where there are no financial incentives for GPs.

Although the patients in Northern Ireland had better control over their BP and cholesterol levels, they ate a less healthy diet and took less exercise than patients in the Republic of Ireland. They also scored lower for physical and emotional wellbeing.

The researchers, from the Department of General Practice and Primary Care at Dunlee Health Centre in Belfast, concluded that the findings should contribute to the design of optimal primary healthcare policy and the evolving quality framework.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

BMJ 2008 Online

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