Background. We evaluated the appropriateness of indications to Holter monitoring performed on ambulatory patients during 4 weeks in 21 laboratories in Tuscany and Umbria, Italy. Methods. We collected the following data: the appropriateness of the prescription (according to the guidelines of the Italian Federation of Cardiology), the prescribing physician (cardiologist vs non-cardiologist), the synthetic result (normal vs abnormal) and the clinical utility (useful vs useless) of each exam. Results. We evaluated 863 prescriptions (population: 435 males, 428 females; mean age 64 years, range 15-90 years). The indications to the test were of class I (appropriate) in 59.6%, of class II (doubtfully appropriate) in 11.7%, and of class III (inappropriate) in 28.7% of the cases. In 33% of the cases the exam was considered abnormal. In particular, an abnormal result was found in 37.9% of class I, in 36.7% of class II, and in 24.5 % of class III exams (p <0.05). The exam was considered useful in 46.7% of the cases. In particular, a useful result was found in 59.2% of class I, in 45.5% of class II, and in 21% of class III exams (p <0.05). Cardiologists prescribed 373/863 tests (43.2%). Their indications were of class I in 67.6%, of class II in 12% and of class III in 24% of the cases vs 53.7,11.4 and 34.9% of non-cardiologists' prescriptions (p <0.05). Abnormal findings were found in 40% of cardiologist- vs 27.6% of non-cardiologist-prescribed examinations (odds ratio 1.74, 95% confidence interval 1.31-2.32; p <0.05); similarly, clinically useful information could be derived from 59.8% of cardiologist- vs 36.7% of non-cardiologist-prescribed examinations (odds ratio 2.56, 95% confidence interval 1.94-3.37; p <0.05). Conclusions. In Tuscany and Umbria, Italy, about 40% of Holter exams are inappropriate; appropriately prescribed exams are more often abnormal and useful; cardiologist-prescribed exams are significantly more appropriate, abnormal and useful.
|Translated title of the contribution||The evaluation of the appropriateness of prescription of non-invasive diagnostic tests in cardiology: The case of Holter monitoring|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Italian Heart Journal Supplement|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine