During March 30–April 1, 2005, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of Canada (goc) and the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (cscc) Clinical Practice Guidelines Action Group (cpg-ag) met to
determine how goc would like to influence practice in the care of women with gynecologic cancer.explore a collaborative model for developing and implementing evidence-based practice guidelines.investigate the utility of the cpg evaluation and adaptation cycle as a tool for selecting, adapting, and adopting guidelines.
At the workshop meeting, 21 members of the goc and the cpg-ag heard presentations from various Canadian guideline initiatives. As an example of adaptation and adoption processes, the agree (Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation) tool was applied to guidelines in recurrent ovarian cancer, and the group explored their opportunity to use knowledge translation to influence the care of women with gynecologic cancer.
The themes influencing practice are consistent with goc’s mandate. The future is expected to involve partnering with other groups to maximize scarce resources. Resources should be directed to facilitating implementation of existing guidelines rather than to developing new documents. The full spectrum of cancer care includes prevention, screening, diagnosis, primary treatment, follow-up, treatment of recurrent disease, and palliation. High-quality evidence is available in some areas, but gaps exist where guideline panels could provide guidance. Development of a pan-Canadian gynecologic oncology process could provide an opportunity to influence access to care at the political and policy levels.
The goc will develop linkages such that the toolbox available through cscc-cpg-ag can be incorporated into future collaboration.
Practice guidelines; gynecologic oncology
Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) have been published on a number of topics in spinal cord injury (SCI) medicine. Research in the general medical literature shows that the distribution of CPGs has a minimal effect on physician practice without targeted implementation strategies. The purpose of this study was to determine (a) whether dissemination of an SCI CPG improved the likelihood that patients would receive CPG recommended care and (b) whether adherence to CPG recommendations could be improved through a targeted implementation strategy. Specifically, this study addressed the “Neurogenic Bowel Management in Adults with Spinal Cord Injury” Clinical Practice Guideline published in March 1998 by the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine
CPG adherence was determined from medical record review at 6 Veterans Affairs SCI centers for 3 time periods: before guideline publication (T1), after guideline publication but before CPG implementation (T2), and after targeted CPG implementation (T3). Specific implementation strategies to enhance guideline adherence were chosen to address the barriers identified by SCI providers in focus groups before the intervention.
Overall adherence to recommendations related to neurogenic bowel did not change between T1 and T2 (P = not significant) but increased significantly between T2 and T3 (P < 0.001) for 3 of 6 guideline recommendations. For the other 3 guideline recommendations, adherence rates were noted to be high at T1.
While publication of the CPG alone did not alter rates of provider adherence, the use of a targeted implementation plan resulted in increases in adherence rates with some (3 of 6) CPG recommendations for neurogenic bowel management.
Spinal cord injuries; Neurogenic bowel; Practice guidelines; Consensus guidelines; Patient education
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mandated the system-wide implementation of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in the mid-1990s, arming all facilities with basic resources to facilitate implementation; despite this resource allocation, significant variability still exists across VA facilities in implementation success.
This study compares CPG implementation strategy patterns used by high and low performing primary care clinics in the VA.
Descriptive, cross-sectional study of a purposeful sample of six Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) with high and low performance on six CPGs.
One hundred and two employees (management, quality improvement, clinic personnel) involved with guideline implementation at each VAMC primary care clinic.
Participants reported specific strategies used by their facility to implement guidelines in 1-hour semi-structured interviews. Facilities were classified as high or low performers based on their guideline adherence scores calculated through independently conducted chart reviews.
High performing facilities (HPFs) (a) invested significantly in the implementation of the electronic medical record and locally adapting it to provider needs, (b) invested dedicated resources to guideline-related initiatives, and (c) exhibited a clear direction in their strategy choices. Low performing facilities exhibited (a) earlier stages of development for their electronic medical record, (b) reliance on preexisting resources for guideline implementation, with little local adaptation, and (c) no clear direction in their strategy choices.
A multifaceted, yet targeted, strategic approach to guideline implementation emphasizing dedicated resources and local adaptation may result in more successful implementation and higher guideline adherence than relying on standardized resources and taxing preexisting channels.
Guidelines; qualitative research; implementation research; evidence based medicine; health services research
Initiatives to raise the quality of care provided to mothers need to be given priority in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The promotion of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is a common strategy, but their implementation is often challenging, limiting their potential impact. Through a cross-country perspective, this study explored CPGs for maternal health in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Tanzania. The objectives were to compare factors related to CPG use including their content compared with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, their format, and their development processes. Perceptions of their availability and use in practice were also explored. The overall purpose was to further the understanding of how to increase CPGs' potential to improve quality of care for mothers in SSA.
The study was a multiple case study design consisting of cross-country comparisons using document review and key informant interviews. A conceptual framework to aid analysis and discussion of results was developed, including selected domains related to guidelines' implementability and use by health workers in practice in terms of usability, applicability, and adaptability.
The study revealed few significant differences in content between the national guidelines for maternal health and WHO recommendations. There were, however, marked variations in the format of CPGs between the three countries. Apart from the Ghanaian and one of the Tanzanian CPGs, the levels of both usability and applicability were assessed as low or medium. In all three countries, the use of CPGs by health workers in practice was perceived to be limited.
Our cross-country study suggests that it is not poor quality of content or lack of evidence base that constitute the major barrier for CPGs to positively impact on quality improvement in maternal care in SSA. It rather emphasises the need to prioritise the format of guidelines to increase their usability and applicability and to consider these attributes together with implementation strategies as integral to their development processes.
CPGs; Health service delivery; Implementation; Information and communication technology (ICT); Maternal health; Quality improvement; Sub Saharan Africa; WHO
Practice guidelines can improve health care delivery and outcomes but several issues challenge guideline adoption, including their intrinsic attributes, and whether and how they are implemented. It appears that guideline format may influence accessibility and ease of use, which may overcome attitudinal barriers of guideline adoption, and appear to be important to all stakeholders. Guideline content may facilitate various forms of decision making about guideline adoption relevant to different stakeholders. Knowledge and attitudes about, and incentives and capacity for implementation on the part of guideline sponsors may influence whether and how they develop guidelines containing these features, and undertake implementation. Examination of these issues may yield opportunities to improve guideline adoption.
The attributes hypothesized to facilitate adoption will be expanded by thematic analysis, and quantitative and qualitative summary of the content of international guidelines for two primary care (diabetes, hypertension) and institutional care (chronic ulcer, chronic heart failure) topics. Factors that influence whether and how guidelines are implemented will be explored by qualitative analysis of interviews with individuals affiliated with guideline sponsoring agencies.
Previous research examined guideline implementation by measuring rates of compliance with recommendations or associated outcomes, but this produced little insight on how the products themselves, or their implementation, could be improved. This research will establish a theoretical basis upon which to conduct experimental studies to compare the cost-effectiveness of interventions that enhance guideline development and implementation capacity. Such studies could first examine short-term outcomes predictive of guideline utilization, such as recall, attitude toward, confidence in, and adoption intention. If successful, then long-term objective outcomes reflecting the adoption of processes and associated patient care outcomes could be evaluated.
BACKGROUND: It is crucial that research findings are implemented in general practice if high-quality care is to be achieved. Multifaceted interventions are usually assumed to be more effective than single interventions, but this hypothesis has yet to be tested for general practice care. This review evaluates the effectiveness of interventions in influencing the implementation of guidelines and adoption of innovations in general practice. A systematic literature study was carried out using MEDLINE searches for the period from January 1980 until June 1994, and 21 medical journals were searched manually. Randomized controlled trials and controlled before and after studies (with pre- and post-intervention measurements in all groups) were selected for the analysis. Clinical area, interventions used, methodological characteristics and effects on clinical behaviour were noted independently by two researchers using a standardized scoring form. Of 143 studies found, 61 were selected for the analysis, covering 86 intervention groups that could be compared with a control group without the intervention. Information transfer alone was effective in two out of 18 groups, whereas combinations of information transfer and learning through social influence or management support were effective in four out of eight and three out of seven groups respectively. Information linked to performance was effective in 10 out of 15 groups, but the combination of information transfer and information linked to performance was effective in only three out of 20 groups. Some, but not all, multifaceted interventions are effective in inducing change in general practice. Social influence and management support can improve the effectiveness of information transfer, but information linked to performance does not necessarily do so. The variation in the effectiveness of interventions needs further analysis.
OBJECTIVES: To validate the ease by which a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) can be web-enabled using an XML-based semi-automated process. DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION: An XML DTD for Clinical Practice Guidelines and an MS Word authoring template were created in an earlier project. We took an existing guideline, Bedside Smoking Cessation Intervention, placed it into the MS Word template, converted it into XML, and then to HTML for deployment over the Kaiser Permanent intranet. CONCLUSIONS: We were able to use the MS Word authoring template and automatically generate both an XML representation of our guideline, and an HTML representation, which we have deployed on our intranet. The Bedside Smoking Cessation Intervention guideline was automatically merged into the online guidelines collection. Placing it on our intranet allowed for rapid and easy access by physicians and other health care providers throughout the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program.
The present supplement summarizes the proceedings of the symposium “Implementing practice guidelines: A workshop on guidelines dissemination and implementation with a focus on asthma and COPD”, which took place in Quebec City, Quebec, from April 14 to 16, 2005. This international symposium was a joint initiative of the Laval University Office of Continuing Medical Education (Bureau de la Formation Médicale Continue), the Canadian Thoracic Society and the Canadian Network for Asthma Care, and was supported by many other organizations and by industrial partners. The objectives of this meeting were to examine the optimal implementation of practice guidelines, review current initiatives for the implementation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) guidelines in Canada and in the rest of the world, and develop an optimal strategy for future guideline implementation. An impressive group of scientists, physicians and other health care providers, as well as policy makers and representatives of patients’ associations, the pharmaceutical industry, research and health networks, and communications specialists, conveyed their perspectives on how to achieve these goals.
This important event provided a unique opportunity for all participants to discuss key issues in improving the care of patients with asthma and COPD. These two diseases are responsible for an enormous human and socioeconomic burden around the world. Many reports have indicated that current evidence-based guidelines are underused by physicians and others, and that there are many barriers to an effective translation of recommendations into day-to-day care. There is therefore a need to develop more effective ways to communicate key information to both caregivers and patients, and to promote appropriate health behaviours. This symposium contributed to the initiation of what could become the “Canadian Asthma and COPD Campaign”, aimed at improving care and, hence, the quality of life of those suffering from these diseases.
It is hoped that this event will be followed by other meetings that focus on how to improve the transfer of key recommendations from evidence-based guidelines into current care, and how to stimulate research to accomplish this.
Asthma; COPD; Evidence-based medicine; Guidelines implementation; Practice guidelines
To determine effectiveness and costs of different guideline dissemination and implementation strategies.
MEDLINE (1966 to 1998), HEALTHSTAR (1975 to 1998), Cochrane Controlled Trial Register (4th edn 1998), EMBASE (1980 to 1998), SIGLE (1980 to 1988), and the specialized register of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care group.
REVIEW METHODS: INCLUSION CRITERIA
Randomized-controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, controlled before and after studies, and interrupted time series evaluating guideline dissemination and implementation strategies targeting medically qualified health care professionals that reported objective measures of provider behavior and/or patient outcome. Two reviewers independently abstracted data on the methodologic quality of the studies, characteristics of study setting, participants, targeted behaviors, and interventions. We derived single estimates of dichotomous process variables (e.g., proportion of patients receiving appropriate treatment) for each study comparison and reported the median and range of effect sizes observed by study group and other quality criteria.
We included 309 comparisons derived from 235 studies. The overall quality of the studies was poor. Seventy-three percent of comparisons evaluated multifaceted interventions. Overall, the majority of comparisons (86.6%) observed improvements in care; for example, the median absolute improvement in performance across interventions ranged from 14.1% in 14 cluster-randomized comparisons of reminders, 8.1% in 4 cluster-randomized comparisons of dissemination of educational materials, 7.0% in 5 cluster-randomized comparisons of audit and feedback, and 6.0% in 13 cluster-randomized comparisons of multifaceted interventions involving educational outreach. We found no relationship between the number of components and the effects of multifaceted interventions. Only 29.4% of comparisons reported any economic data.
Current guideline dissemination and implementation strategies can lead to improvements in care within the context of rigorous evaluative studies. However, there is an imperfect evidence base to support decisions about which guideline dissemination and implementation strategies are likely to be efficient under different circumstances. Decision makers need to use considerable judgment about how best to use the limited resources they have for quality improvement activities.
practice guideline; systematic review; implementation research.
Background and Purpose
Delirium at the end of life is common and can have serious consequences on an older person’s quality of life and death. In spite of the importance of detecting, diagnosing, and managing delirium at the end of life, comprehensive clinical practice guidelines (CPG) are lacking. Our objective was to develop CPG for the assessment and treatment of delirium that would be applicable to seniors receiving end-of-life care in diverse settings.
Using as a starting point the 2006 Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health CPG on the assessment and treatment of delirium, a team of palliative care researchers and clinicians partnered with members of the original guideline development group to adapt the guidelines for an end-of-life care context. This process was supported by an extensive literature review. The final guidelines were reviewed by external experts.
Comprehensive CPG on the assessment and treatment of delirium in older adults at the end of life were developed and can be downloaded from http://www.ccsmh.ca.
Further research is needed on the implementation and evaluation of these adapted delirium guidelines for older patients receiving end-of-life care in various palliative care settings.
Delirium; end of life; evidence-based practice; guidelines; older adults; palliative care
As a strategy for improving clinical practice guideline (CPG) adherence, audit and feedback (A&F) has been found to be variably effective, yet A&F research has not investigated the impact of feedback characteristics on its effectiveness. This paper explores how high performing facilities (HPF) and low performing facilities (LPF) differ in the way they use clinical audit data for feedback purposes.
Descriptive, qualitative, cross-sectional study of a purposeful sample of six Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) with high and low adherence to six CPGs, as measured by external chart review audits.
One-hundred and two employees involved with outpatient CPG implementation across the six facilities participated in one-hour semi-structured interviews where they discussed strategies, facilitators and barriers to implementing CPGs. Interviews were analyzed using techniques from the grounded theory method.
High performers provided timely, individualized, non-punitive feedback to providers, whereas low performers were more variable in their timeliness and non-punitiveness and relied on more standardized, facility-level reports. The concept of actionable feedback emerged as the core category from the data, around which timeliness, individualization, non-punitiveness, and customizability can be hierarchically ordered.
Facilities with a successful record of guideline adherence tend to deliver more timely, individualized and non-punitive feedback to providers about their adherence than facilities with a poor record of guideline adherence. Consistent with findings from organizational research, feedback intervention characteristics may influence the feedback's effectiveness at changing desired behaviors.
Translating scientific evidence into daily practice is complex. Clinical guidelines can improve health care delivery, but there are a number of challenges in guideline adoption and implementation. Factors influencing the effective implementation of guidelines remain poorly understood. Understanding of barriers and facilitators is important for development of effective implementation strategies. The aim of this study was to determine perceived facilitators and barriers to guideline implementation and clinical compliance to guidelines for depression in psychiatric care.
This qualitative study was conducted at two psychiatric clinics in Stockholm, Sweden. The implementation activities at one of the clinics included local implementation teams, seminars, regular feedback and academic detailing. The other clinic served as a control and only received guidelines by post. Data were collected from three focus groups and 28 individual, semi-structured interviews. Content analysis was used to identify themes emerging from the interview data.
The identified barriers to, and facilitators of, the implementation of guidelines could be classified into three major categories: (1) organizational resources, (2) health care professionals' individual characteristics and (3) perception of guidelines and implementation strategies. The practitioners in the implementation team and at control clinics differed in three main areas: (1) concerns about control over professional practice, (2) beliefs about evidence-based practice and (3) suspicions about financial motives for guideline introduction.
Identifying the barriers to, and facilitators of, the adoption of recommendations is an important way of achieving efficient implementation strategies. The findings of this study suggest that the adoption of guidelines may be improved if local health professionals actively participate in an ongoing implementation process and identify efficient strategies to overcome barriers on an organizational and individual level. Getting evidence into practice and implementing clinical guidelines are dependent upon more than practitioners' motivation. There are factors in the local context, e.g. culture and leadership, evaluation, feedback on performance and facilitation, -that are likely to be equally influential.
Evidence generated from reliable research is not frequently implemented into clinical practice. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines are a potential vehicle to achieve this. A recent systematic review of implementation strategies of guideline dissemination concluded that there was a lack of evidence regarding effective strategies to promote the uptake of guidelines. Recommendations from this review, and other studies, have suggested the use of interventions that are theoretically based because these may be more effective than those that are not. An evidence-based clinical practice guideline for the management of acute low back pain was recently developed in Australia. This provides an opportunity to develop and test a theory-based implementation intervention for a condition which is common, has a high burden, and for which there is an evidence-practice gap in the primary care setting.
This study aims to test the effectiveness of a theory-based intervention for implementing a clinical practice guideline for acute low back pain in general practice in Victoria, Australia. Specifically, our primary objectives are to establish if the intervention is effective in reducing the percentage of patients who are referred for a plain x-ray, and improving mean level of disability for patients three months post-consultation.
This study protocol describes the details of a cluster randomised controlled trial. Ninety-two general practices (clusters), which include at least one consenting general practitioner, will be randomised to an intervention or control arm using restricted randomisation. Patients aged 18 years or older who visit a participating practitioner for acute non-specific low back pain of less than three months duration will be eligible for inclusion. An average of twenty-five patients per general practice will be recruited, providing a total of 2,300 patient participants. General practitioners in the control arm will receive access to the guideline using the existing dissemination strategy. Practitioners in the intervention arm will be invited to participate in facilitated face-to-face workshops that have been underpinned by behavioural theory. Investigators (not involved in the delivery of the intervention), patients, outcome assessors and the study statistician will be blinded to group allocation.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN012606000098538 (date registered 14/03/2006).
Reducing the burden of disease relies on availability of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). There is limited data on availability, quality and content of guidelines within the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This evaluation aims to address this gap in knowledge and provide recommendations for regional guideline development.
We prioritised five diseases: HIV in adults, malaria in children and adults, pre-eclampsia, diarrhoea in children and hypertension in primary care. A comprehensive electronic search to locate guidelines was conducted between June and October 2010 and augmented with email contact with SADC Ministries of Health. Independent reviewers used the AGREE II tool to score six quality domains reporting the guideline development process. Alignment of the evidence-base of the guidelines was evaluated by comparing their content with key recommendations from accepted reference guidelines, identified with a content expert, and percentage scores were calculated.
We identified 30 guidelines from 13 countries, publication dates ranging from 2003-2010. Overall the 'scope and purpose' and 'clarity and presentation' domains of the AGREE II instrument scored highest, median 58%(range 19-92) and 83%(range 17-100) respectively. 'Stakeholder involvement' followed with median 39%(range 6-75). 'Applicability', 'rigour of development' and 'editorial independence' scored poorly, all below 25%. Alignment with evidence was variable across member states, the lowest scores occurring in older guidelines or where the guideline being evaluated was part of broader primary healthcare CPG rather than a disease-specific guideline.
This review identified quality gaps and variable alignment with best evidence in available guidelines within SADC for five priority diseases. Future guideline development processes within SADC should better adhere to global reporting norms requiring broader consultation of stakeholders and transparency of process. A regional guideline support committee could harness local capacity to support context appropriate guideline development.
clinical practice guidelines; quality; evidence-based; alignment
In the last decades, a sustained increment of Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) production in the world has been accompanied by a growing concern about their quality. Many studies related to quality assessment of guidelines produced in High Income Countries were published; however, evidence on this topic is scarce in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC). The objectives of this research were: a) to describe guideline production in Argentina at different levels of the health system (macro, meso and micro) from 1994 to 2004; and b) to assess their quality by using the AGREE instrument.
A cross-sectional study was undertaken to describe guidelines production in Argentina between 1994 and 2004. CPG were identified through Internet and electronic databases (MEDLINE and LILACS). Explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to select guidelines. Each CPG was independently assessed by two reviewers using the AGREE instrument. Domain scores were calculated as recommended by the AGREE Collaboration. The internal consistency of each domain was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha and inter-observer agreement by the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC).
A total amount of 431 potential CPG were identified, but only 144 were considered CPG. At the end, 101 CPG were included for further assessment. Median standardized score for each domain were: scope = 39%; stakeholder involvement = 13%; rigour of development = 10%; clarity = 42%; applicability = 6%; editorial independence = 0%. Only 22 CPG were recommended with modifications by both appraisers. ICC and Cronbach's alpha for each domain were in all cases moderate or high (greater than 0.40), except for editorial independence.
This study has systematically employed the AGREE instrument for the critical assessment of guidelines produced in a LMIC. Guideline development and diffusion in Argentina from 1994 to 2004 shows a constant increment, although quality of reporting did not improve; moreover, in some aspects it seemed to decline. Much room for improvement of the guideline development process was found at all levels of the health system.
To assess Canadian family physicians’ awareness of, attitudes toward, and use of the 1999 Canadian Consensus Conference on Dementia (CCCD) clinical practice guidelines (CPGs); to explore the barriers and enablers to implementing dementia CPGs in clinical practice; and to identify more effective strategies for future dementia guideline development and dissemination.
Qualitative study using focus groups.
Academic family practice clinics in Calgary, Alta, Ottawa, Ont, and Toronto, Ont.
Eighteen family physicians.
Using a semistructured interview guide, we conducted 4 qualitative focus groups of 4 to 6 family physicians whose practices we had audited in a previous study. Transcripts were coded using an inductive data analytic strategy, and categories and themes were identified and described using the principles of thematic analysis.
Four major themes emerged from the focus group discussions. Family physicians 1) were minimally aware of the existence and the detailed contents of the CCCD guidelines; 2) had strong views about the purposes of guidelines in general; 3) expressed strong concerns about the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the development of such guidelines; and 4) had many ideas to improve future dementia guidelines and CPGs in general.
Family physicians were minimally aware of the 1999 CCCD CPGs. They acknowledged, however, the potential of future CPGs to assist them in patient care and offered many strategies to improve the development and dissemination of future dementia guidelines. Future guidelines should more accurately reflect the day-to-day practice experiences and challenges of family physicians, and guideline developers should also be cognizant of family physicians’ perceptions that pharmaceutical companies’ funding of CPGs undermines the objectivity and credibility of those guidelines.
Teaching the content of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is important to both clinical care and graduate medical education. The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of curricula for teaching the content of CPGs in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the United States.
We surveyed the directors of family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the United States. The questionnaire included questions about the characteristics of the teaching of CPGs: goals and objectives, educational activities, evaluation, aspects of CPGs that the program teaches, the methods of making texts of CPGs available to residents, and the major barriers to teaching CPGs.
Of 434 programs responding (out of 839, 52%), 14% percent reported having written goals and objectives related to teaching CPGs. The most frequently taught aspect was the content of specific CPGs (76%). The top two educational strategies used were didactic sessions (76%) and journal clubs (64%). Auditing for adherence by residents was the primary evaluation strategy (44%), although 36% of program directors conducted no evaluation. Programs made texts of CPGs available to residents most commonly in the form of paper copies (54%) while the most important barrier was time constraints on faculty (56%).
Residency programs teach different aspects of CPGs to varying degrees, and the majority uses educational strategies not supported by research evidence.
International guidelines for the management of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding have not been widely adopted in clinical practice. We sought to determine whether a national, multifaceted intervention could improve adherence to guidelines, especially for patients at high risk of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
In this randomized trial, we stratified hospitals by region and size and allocated sites to either the control or experimental group. Health care workers in the experimental group were given published guidelines, generic algorithms, stratification scoring systems and written reminders and attended multidisciplinary guideline education groups and case-based workshops. These interventions were implemented over a 12-month period after randomization, with performance feedback and benchmarking. The primary outcome of adherence rates to key guidelines in endoscopic and pharmacologic management, determined by chart review, was adjusted according to site characteristics and possible within-site dependencies. We also report the rates of adherence to other recommendations.
Forty-three sites were randomized to the experimental (n = 21) or control (n = 22) groups. In our primary analysis, we compared patients before (experimental group: n = 402 patients; control group: n = 424 patients) and after (experimental group: n = 361 patients; control group: n = 389 patients) intervention. Patient-level analysis revealed no significant difference in adherence rates to the guidelines after the intervention (experimental group: 9.8%; control group: 4.8%; p = 0.99) after adjustment for the rate of adherence before the intervention (experimental group: 13.2%; control group: 7.1%). The adherence rates to other guidelines were similar and decreased over time, varying between 5% and 93%.
This national knowledge translation–based trial suggests poor adherence to guidelines on nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Adherence was not improved by an educational intervention, which highlights both the complexity and poor predictability of attempting to alter the behaviour of health care providers (Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, no. MCT-88113).
The recent development and publication of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for acute low back pain (LBP) has resulted in evidence-based recommendations that, if implemented, have the potential to improve the quality and safety of care for acute LBP. While a strategy has been specified for dissemination of the CPG for acute LBP in Australia, there is no accompanying plan for active implementation. Evidence regarding the cost-effectiveness of active implementation of CPGs for acute LBP is sparse. The IMPLEMENT study will consider the incremental benefits and costs of progressing beyond development and dissemination to implementation.
Cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses alongside the IMPLEMENT cluster randomised controlled trial (CRCT) from a societal perspective to quantify the additional costs (savings) and health gains associated with a targeted implementation strategy as compared with access to the CPG via dissemination only.
The protocol provided here registers our intent to conduct an economic evaluation alongside the IMPLEMENT study, facilitates peer-review of proposed methods and provides a transparent statement of planned analyses.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN012606000098538
Reviews of guideline implementation recommend matching strategies to the specific setting, but provide little specific guidance about how to do so. We hypothesized that the highest level of guideline-concordant care would be achieved where implementation strategies fit well with physicians' cognitive styles.
We conducted an observational study of the implementation of guidelines for hypertension management among patients with diabetes at 43 Veterans' Health Administration medical center primary care clinics. Clinic leaders provided information about all implementation strategies employed at their sites. Guidelines implementation strategies were classified as education, motivation/incentive, or barrier reduction using a pre-specified system. Physician's cognitive styles were measured on three scales: evidence vs. experience as the basis of knowledge, sensitivity to pragmatic concerns, and conformity to local practices. Doctors' decisions were designated guideline-concordant if the patient's blood pressure was within goal range, or if the blood pressure was out of range and a dose change or medication change was initiated, or if the patient was already using medications from three classes.
The final sample included 163 physicians and 1,174 patients. All of the participating sites used one or more educational approaches to implement the guidelines. Over 90% of the sites also provided group or individual feedback on physician performance on the guidelines, and over 75% implemented some type of reminder system. A minority of sites used monetary incentives, penalties, or barrier reduction. The only type of intervention that was associated with increased guideline-concordant care in a logistic model was barrier reduction (p < 0.02). The interaction between physicians' conformity scale scores and the effect of barrier reduction was significant (p < 0.05); physicians ranking lower on the conformity scale responded more to barrier reduction.
Guidelines implementation strategies that were designed to reduce physician time pressure and task complexity were the only ones that improved performance. Education may have been necessary but was clearly not sufficient, and more was not better. Incentives had no discernible effect. Measurable physician characteristics strongly affected response to implementation strategies.
This study aims to investigate the factors related to the adoption of clinical practice guidelines in clinical settings in Korea; it also aims to determine how these factors differ depending on the specific situation of health care system and professional climate. The research sample comprised physicians who are board members of academic societies with experiences in development of clinical practice guidelines using a convenient sampling. We analyzed 324 physicians with pooling two-year sample of 2007 and 2008. From all the respondents, 48.8% stated that they followed Clinical Practice Guidelines, and 93.4% agreed with the content in the Clinical Practice Guidelines. With regard to the item on the self-efficacy of practicing guidelines, 90.3% of the respondents selected 'low level'. In the regression analysis, the factors associated with implementation were level of recognition, agreement and self-efficacy and positive attitude towards practice guidelines. Although the health care system in Korea differs from those in Western countries, our results revealed that the factors related to the adoption of practice guidelines were similar to the research results of Western countries. These results suggest that professionals' attitudes towards clinical practice guidelines are universal, and implementation strategies should be developed globally.
Clinical Practice Guidelines; Korean Physicians; Evidence-Based Medicine; Adoption; Implementation; Self Efficacy; Rrecognition
In an era when an increasing amount of clinical information is available to health care professionals, the effective implementation of clinical practice guidelines requires the development of strategies to facilitate the use of these guidelines. The objective of this study was to assess attitudes towards clinical practice guidelines, as well as the barriers and facilitators to their use, among Estonian physicians. The study was conducted to inform the revision of the clinical practice guideline development process and can provide inspiration to other countries considering the increasing use of evidence-based medicine.
We conducted an online survey of physicians to assess resource, system, and attitudinal barriers. We also asked a set of questions related to improving the use of clinical practice guidelines and collected free-text comments. We hypothesized that attitudes concerning guidelines may differ by gender, years of experience and practice setting. The study population consisted of physicians from the database of the Department of Continuing Medical Education of the University of Tartu. Differences between groups were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test.
41% (497/1212) of physicians in the database completed the questionnaire, comprising more than 10% of physicians in the country. Most respondents (79%) used treatment guidelines in their daily clinical practice. Lack of time was the barrier identified by the most physicians (42%), followed by lack of medical resources for implementation (32%). The majority of physicians disagreed with the statement that guidelines were not accessible (73%) or too complicated (70%). Physicians practicing in outpatient settings or for more than 25 years were the most likely to experience difficulties in guideline use. 95% of respondents agreed that an easy-to-find online database of guidelines would facilitate use.
Use of updated evidence-based guidelines is a prerequisite for the high-quality management of diseases, and recognizing the factors that affect guideline compliance makes it possible to work towards improving guideline adherence in clinical practice. In our study, physicians with long-term clinical experience and doctors in outpatient settings perceived more barriers, which should be taken into account when planning strategies in improving the use of guidelines. Informed by the results of the survey, leading health authorities are making an effort to develop specially designed interventions to implement clinical practice guidelines, including an easily accessible online database.
Clinical practice guidelines; Implementation; Estonia; World health organization; Barriers; Facilitators
The purpose of this paper is to present differences in mental models of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) among 15 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities throughout the United States.
Two hundred and forty-four employees from 15 different VHA facilities across four service networks around the country were invited to participate. Participants were selected from different levels throughout each service setting from primary care personnel to facility leadership.
This qualitative study used purposive sampling, a semistructured interview process for data collection, and grounded theory techniques for analysis.
A semistructured interview was used to collect information on participants' mental models of CPGs, as well as implementation strategies and barriers in their facility.
Analysis of these interviews using grounded theory techniques indicated that there was wide variability in employees' mental models of CPGs. Findings also indicated that high-performing facilities exhibited both (a) a clear, focused shared mental model of guidelines and (b) a tendency to use performance feedback as a learning opportunity, thus suggesting that a shared mental model is a necessary but not sufficient step toward successful guideline implementation.
We conclude that a clear shared mental model of guidelines, in combination with a learning orientation toward feedback are important components for successful guideline implementation and improved quality of care.
Shared mental models; clinical practice guidelines; performance; feedback; learning orientation
OBJECTIVE: To assess the evidence for the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in improving patient outcomes in primary care. DATA SOURCES: A search of the MEDLINE, HEALTHPLAN, CINAHL and FAMLI databases was conducted to identify studies published between Jan. 1, 1980, and Dec. 31, 1995, concerning the use of guidelines in primary medical care. The keywords used in the search were "clinical guidelines," "primary care," "clinical care," "intervention," "randomized controlled trial" and "effectiveness." STUDY SELECTION: Studies of the use of CPGs were selected if they involved a randomized experimental or quasi-experimental method, concerned primary care, were related to clinical care and examined patient outcomes. Of 91 trials of CPGs identified through the search, 13 met the criteria for inclusion in the critical appraisal. DATA EXTRACTION: The following data were extracted, when possible, from the 13 trials: country and setting, number of physicians, number of patients (and the proportion followed to completion), length of follow-up, study method (including random assignment method), type of intervention, medical condition treated and effect on patient outcomes (including clinical and statistical significance, with confidence intervals). DATA SYNTHESIS: The most common conditions studied were hypertension (7 studies), asthma (2 studies) and cigarette smoking (2 studies). Four of the studies followed nationally developed guidelines, and 9 used locally developed guidelines. Six studies involved computerized or automated reminder systems, whereas the others relied on small-group workshops and education sessions. Only 5 of the 13 trials (38%) produced statistically significant results. CONCLUSION: There is very little evidence that the use of CPGs improves patient outcomes in primary medical care, but most studies published to date have used older guidelines and methods, which may have been insensitive to small changes in outcomes. Research is needed to determine whether the newer, evidence-based CPGs have an effect on patient outcomes.
Because there is increasing concern that economic data are not used in the clinical guideline development process, our objective was to evaluate the extent to which economic analyses are incorporated in guideline development.
We searched medline and HealthSTAR databases to identify English-language clinical practice guidelines (1996–1999) and economic analyses (1990–1998). Additional guidelines were obtained from The National Guidelines Clearinghouse Internet site available at . Eligible guidelines met the Institute of Medicine definition and addressed a topic included in an economic analysis. Eligible economic analyses assessed interventions addressed in a guideline and predated the guideline by 1 or more years. Economic analyses were defined as incorporated in guideline development if 1) the economic analysis or the results were mentioned in the text or 2) listed as a reference. The quality of economic analyses was assessed using a structured scoring system.
Using guidelines as the unit of analysis, 9 of 35 (26%) incorporated at least 1 economic analysis of above-average quality in the text and 11 of 35 (31%) incorporated at least 1 in the references. Using economic analyses as the unit of analysis, 63 economic analyses of above-average quality had opportunities for incorporation in 198 instances across the 35 guidelines. Economic analyses were incorporated in the text in 13 of 198 instances (7%) and in the references in 18 of 198 instances (9%).
Rigorous economic analyses may be infrequently incorporated in the development of clinical practice guidelines. A systematic approach to guideline development should be used to ensure the consideration of economic analyses so that recommendations from guidelines may impact both the quality of care and the efficient allocation of resources.
guidelines; econimic analyses; cost-effectiveness