University Of Tasmania

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Awareness of familial hypercholesterolaemia in Australian primary care: A qualitative descriptive study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 02:15 authored by Bulsara, C, Brett, T, Janette RadfordJanette Radford, Heal, C, Gill, G, Hespe, CM, Vargas-Garcia, C, Li, IW, Sullivan, DR, Vickery, AW, Pang, J, Arnold-Reed, D, Chan, DC, Watts, GF

Background and objectives: A lack of public and health professional awareness about familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) leads to an estimated 90,000 Australians remaining undiagnosed. The aim of this study was to establish the level of knowledge and awareness of FH in Australian general practices.

Method: A qualitative descriptive methodology was used to explore baseline knowledge and perceptions of practice staff about diagnosing and managing FH. Overall, 63 interviews were conducted with general practice staff at 15 practices taking part in a National Health and Medical Research Council partnership grant study (GNT1142883).

Results: Data were analysed thematically and coded into themes - knowledge/awareness/recall, management, use of guidelines/referrals, and contacting family members. Most general practitioners treated the high cholesterol component as their primary focus. Guidelines and referrals were rarely used.

Discussion: This research reflected a lack of knowledge, awareness and use of guidelines similar to that shown in other published studies. Improved primary care infrastructure, knowledge and awareness of FH need to be addressed.


National Health & Medical Research Council

Deakin University

James Cook University

Primary Health Tasmania

University of Notre Dame Australia

University of Western Australia


Publication title

Australian Journal of General Practice










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Place of publication


Rights statement

© The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2021

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Prevention of human diseases and conditions; Primary care