Influences on general practitioners' use of pre-hospital thrombolysis: a qualitative study

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Background The aim of the study was to determine factors influencing general practitioners' (GPs') decisions to provide pre-hospital thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction.

Method Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were carried out with 21 GPs in Grampian ( 10 rural; 11 urban).

Results The GPs believed that thrombolysis has an important role in the management of acute myocardial infarction, but urban practitioners were not convinced that time savings could be made by GP provision. Practical issues such as taking an electrocardiogram, ascertaining contra-indications in patients, maintaining skills, equipment, and workload were barriers preventing the provision of pre-hospital thrombolysis. There was a sense that primary care needed to feel that it is initiating change rather than having change thrust upon it.

Conclusion Decision-making processes in primary care are complex, even when the evidence supporting change is strong. Health service planners wishing to implement successful change need to consider other issues such as practical matters, support structures, current morale and practitioner perceptions of control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-41
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • thrombolysis
  • general practice
  • myocardial infarction
  • community


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