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Surely blood pressure bias is a good thing?

Okay, I admit to bias in recording our patients' blood pressure to get them within the QOF target ('GPs manipulated blood pressure recordings for QOF, research claims').

If their BP is within the target I let them off with no change in their medication and a six-month review check. If their BP is even slightly above, at 151-2, I review them more frequently and increase their medication gradually until they come in just under the target at about 148-9.

My insistence on offering to treat them more intensively and review them more frequently is obviously a bias, but I thought that we were being told this was good medicine? This eventually gives me lots of patients who are controlled to just within the target, and rather fewer who are not quite controlled just above the target.

There are some statisticians you can never satisfy!

From Dr David Church, Machynlleth, Powys

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