Post your background questionand your strategy for getting a comprehensive understanding of the clinical issue. Your background question will lead you to your foreground or PICOT question–so it is an important piece of the project!
Your background question should answer the who, what, when, where, how and why. With a clinical question you will include the definition, epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and conclusion. As an example, when I am thinking of background questions that I would like to answer for my topic of depression I would ask:
1. How is Childhood obesity defined and how is it diagnosed in primary care?
2. What population is at the most risk for Childhood obesity?
3. What are some of the causes of Childhood obesity?
4. How is Childhood obesity identified and treated?
As a medical professor, it is important to ensure that students have a comprehensive understanding of clinical issues. One important aspect of this is determining the background question that will lead to the foreground or PICOT question. In this response, we will provide an answer to the background question, “What is the epidemiology and clinical presentation of hypertension?”
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common clinical issue that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Epidemiologically, hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher and/or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), roughly 108 million adults in the United States have hypertension. This equates to roughly 45% of the adult population. Hypertension becomes more common with age, affecting roughly two-thirds of individuals over the age of 60.
Clinically, hypertension is often asymptomatic, which can make it difficult to diagnose. However, some individuals with hypertension may report symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Some physical exam findings that may suggest hypertension include an elevated blood pressure reading on at least two separate occasions and evidence of end-organ damage such as left ventricular hypertrophy or retinopathy. Overall, early detection and management of hypertension is crucial in preventing associated complications such as stroke, heart attack, and renal failure.
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