Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde vol:138 issue:41 pages:2049-53
OBJECTIVE. Determining the role of the general practitioner (GP) in the management of the postinfarction patient, the factors that influence this role, and the relation between GP and cardiologist. DESIGN. Descriptive. SETTING. Registration Network of Family Practice (RNF) of the University of Limburg, the Netherlands. METHOD. Data were obtained from a sample of 284 patients from 30 GPs, all participating in the RNF. The GPs completed a questionnaire about their own patients while the data concerning the cardiac state of the patients were obtained from their problem lists. RESULTS. Postinfarction care was given in only 50% of the patients. Relatively more patients with a more severe cardiac condition were under regular medical follow-up than those with a less severe cardiac condition. However, the severity of the disease had no effect on the specialty of the doctor performing the follow-up (GP or cardiologist), nor had the time expired after the myocardial infarction. In almost 50% of the cases the GPs found continuation of the follow-up by the cardiologist not necessary, in 25% of the cases they were not satisfied with the complementary roles of both disciplines. CONCLUSION. Postinfarction care by the GPs was not uniform. They need guidelines for the management of such patients, based on the patient's risk profile. There is a need for better coordination between GP and cardiologist.