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Screening guidelines for heart diseases are vital, as such conditions are a significant threat to patients’ health. This report presents a reflection on the existing guidelines for cardiovascular illnesses and features their strengths and limitations. Moreover, it explains how these guidelines may support my clinical decision making. The report concludes that the combination of various screening guidelines for heart diseases may ensure better patient outcomes.
Screening Guidelines for Heart Disease
Screening for heart diseases is significant as they are the leading causes of death in the world (Kypridemos et al., 2016). The literature on the topic suggests that treatment of risk factors that may lead to cardiovascular diseases may reduce the prevalence of illnesses significantly (Wallace, Ricco, & Barrett, 2014). There are several screening guidelines for the condition; for example, the American College of Cardiology Foundation (2014) recommends the use of a checklist to assess the risks of heart disease.
The checklist includes questions about the patient’s personal and family histories, such as chest pain, blood pressure, and premature deaths of more than one relative, as well as physical examination. The study by Wallace et al. (2014) reports other screening guidelines that include global risk assessment, genotype and blood pressure screening, measurement of lipid parameters, and ultrasound of abdominal aorta. Finally, Curry (2018) suggests the use of resting and exercise electrocardiograms (ECG) as the primary tool for testing.
Strengths and Limitations of the Guidelines
Reviewed screening guidelines have both strengths and limitations that should be considered. For example, the advantages of the use of the checklist may be that clinicians can build a multidimensional perspective on the patient’s condition based on their family history and diseases in the past. The primary disadvantage of this approach is that it does not involve any additional screening tools, such as blood tests. Wallace et al. (2014) present the testing methods that seem the most effective as they include measurement of various parameters that may indicate the disease.
However, such an approach has a significant limitation too as it does not consider the family history and only concerns the patient’s present health state. Finally, the benefits of Curry’s (2018) guidelines is that they suggest that the screening method is can be effective in heart disease detection. However, such an approach does not involve other tests, which may result in the poor quality of the screening procedure.
Guidelines and Clinical Decision Making
Reviewed guidelines might support my clinical decision making in the following ways. First, I will ensure that the patient’s family history and the presence of symptoms in the past are considered. I will use the checklist to learn the necessary details about the individual’s condition. Second, I will implement the ECG as one of the primary screening methods. Finally, I will consider the findings of Wallace et al. (2014) as additional testing measures, performing ultrasound, blood pressure screening, and global risk assessment. I believe that the combination of these guidelines may ensure better outcomes for patients at risk of heart disease.
There are various screening guidelines for cardiovascular diseases, each of which is concentrated on different aspects, such as risk assessment, prevention, and obtaining detailed information. The analyzed approaches have both strengths and limitations that should be considered. The guidelines might support my clinical decision making as I can develop a screening method that combines the presented approaches to achieve better patient outcomes and eliminate possible health risks.
American College of Cardiology Foundation. (2014). ACC/AHA release recommendations for congenital and genetic heart disease screenings in youth. Web.
Curry, S. J. (2018). Screening for cardiovascular disease risk with electrocardiography: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA, 319(22), 2308-2314. Web.
Kypridemos, C., Allen, K., Hickey, G. L., Guzman-Castillo, M., Bandosz, P., Buchan, I.,… O’Flaherty, M. (2016). Cardiovascular screening to reduce the burden from cardiovascular disease: Microsimulation study to quantify policy options. BMJ, 353. Web.
Wallace, M. L., Ricco, J. A., & Barrett, B. (2014). Screening strategies for cardiovascular disease in asymptomatic adults. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 41(2), 371-397. Web.