Reducing morbidity and mortality among post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients requires the implementation of effective secondary measures. This survey examined current practice by assessing the view on, and adherence to, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on MI secondary prevention in a sample of general practitioners (GPs) and cardiologists. There were 303 respondents from Scotland and England, including at least 10 GPs and one cardiologist from each English Strategic Health Authority.
Although drug treatment post-MI generally complied with NICE recommendations, diet and lifestyle aspects were not implemented fully. There appeared to be sub-optimal integration between primary and secondary healthcare providers. Both GPs and cardiologists underestimated the importance of tailoring secondary prevention services to the individual and the role of omega-3 fatty acid treatments (where required) to supplement dietary intake. There is a clear need to improve compliance of healthcare professionals with many of the key priorities for implementation outlined in the NICE guidelines. In addition, patient-centred cardiac rehabilitation services should be standardised and include strategies to improve patient uptake.