Background and Aim: Long-term aspirin therapy is crucial for patients at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, differing perceptions among healthcare providers profoundly shape the challenges observed in risk assessment. This study assessed the knowledge, attitudes and current practices of internists who prescribe aspirin as a preventive measure for cardiovascular diseases. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to a total of 38 internists working at healthcare centres in Nablus, Palestine.
Results: The majority of physicians (95%) reported that they prescribe aspirin for patients following a coronary artery bypass graft. About 92% of physicians prescribe aspirin for patients with a peripheral vascular disease or acute myocardial infarction, and 85% of physicians prescribe aspirin if patients have a history of stroke and congestive heart failure, or stable angina. The prescribing of aspirin as prophylaxis for patients without cardiovascular disease, but with one or more risk factors, was reported by 61% to 79% of the physicians depending on the nature and number of risk factors. In some cases, the presence of additional diseases in association with cardiovascular diseases tended to hinder physicians from prescribing aspirin.
Conclusions: The majority of Palestinian internal physicians recommend the use of aspirin as a primary prevention tool for cardiovascular disease in spite of its potential negative side effects. Our results revealed that physicians in Palestine tend to prescribe aspirin with varying patterns and therefore a set of evidence-based recommendations should be implemented.