To identify barriers to and facilitators of the diffusion of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and clinical protocols in nursing homes (NHs).
Four randomly selected community nursing homes.
NH staff, including physicians, nurse practitioners, administrative staff, nurses, and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).
Interviews (n = 35) probed the use of CPGs and clinical protocols. Qualitative analysis using Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation stages-of-change model was conducted to produce a conceptual and thematic description.
None of the NHs systematically adopted CPGs, and only three of 35 providers were familiar with CPGs. Confusion with other documents and regulations was common. The most frequently cited barriers were provider concerns that CPGs were ‘‘checklists’’ to replace clinical judgment, perceived conflict with resident and family goals, limited facility resources, lack of communication between providers and across shifts, facility policies that overwhelm or conflict with CPGs, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations interpreted to limit CNA access to clinical information. Facilitators included incorporating CPG recommendations into training materials, standing orders, customizable data collection forms, and regulatory reporting activities.
Clinicians and researchers wishing to increase CPG use in NHs should consider these barriers and facilitators in their quality improvement and intervention development processes.
clinical practice guidelines; nursing facilities; qualitative research
Careful hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important factor in preventing the transmission of infections to patients, but compliance is difficult to achieve and maintain. A lack of understanding of the processes involved in changing staff behaviour may contribute to the failure to achieve success. The purpose of this study was to identify nurses’ and administrators’ perceived barriers and facilitators to current HH practices and the implementation of a new electronic monitoring technology for HH.
Ten key informant interviews (three administrators and seven nurses) were conducted to explore barriers and facilitators related to HH and the impact of the new technology on outcomes. The semi structured interviews were based on the Theoretical Domains Framework by Michie et al. and conducted prior to intervention implementation. Data were explored using an inductive qualitative analysis approach. Data between administrators and nurses were compared.
In 9 of the 12 domains, nurses and administrators differed in their responses. Administrators believed that nurses have insufficient knowledge and skills to perform HH, whereas the nurses were confident they had the required knowledge and skills. Nurses focused on immediate consequences, whereas administrators highlighted long-term outcomes of the system. Nurses concentrated foremost on their personal safety and their families’ safety as a source of motivation to perform HH, whereas administrators identified professional commitment, incentives, and goal setting. Administrators stated that the staff do not have the decision processes in place to judge whether HH is necessary or not. They also highlighted the positive aspects of teams as a social influence, whereas nurses were not interested in group conformity or being compared to others. Nurses described the importance of individual feedback and self-monitoring in order to increase their performance, whereas administrators reported different views.
This study highlights the benefits of using a structured approach based on psychological theory to inform an implementation plan for a behavior change intervention. This work is an essential step towards systematically identifying factors affecting nurses’ behaviour associated with HH.
Hand hygiene; Knowledge translation; Compliance; Behaviour change; Electronic monitoring
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.
Although considerable efforts are directed at developing international guidelines to improve clinical management in low-income settings they appear to influence practice rarely. This study aimed to explore barriers to guideline implementation in the early phase of an intervention study in four district hospitals in Kenya.
We developed a simple interview guide based on a simple characterisation of the intervention informed by review of major theories on barriers to uptake of guidelines. In-depth interviews, non-participatory observation, and informal discussions were then used to explore perceived barriers to guideline introduction and general improvements in paediatric and newborn care. Data were collected four to five months after in-service training in the hospitals. Data were transcribed, themes explored, and revised in two rounds of coding and analysis using NVivo 7 software, subjected to a layered analysis, reviewed, and revised after discussion with four hospital staff who acted as within-hospital facilitators.
A total of 29 health workers were interviewed. Ten major themes preventing guideline uptake were identified: incomplete training coverage; inadequacies in local standard setting and leadership; lack of recognition and appreciation of good work; poor communication and teamwork; organizational constraints and limited resources; counterproductive health worker norms; absence of perceived benefits linked to adoption of new practices; difficulties accepting change; lack of motivation; and conflicting attitudes and beliefs.
While the barriers identified are broadly similar in theme to those reported from high-income settings, their specific nature often differs. For example, at an institutional level there is an almost complete lack of systems to introduce or reinforce guidelines, poor teamwork across different cadres of health worker, and failure to confront poor practice. At an individual level, lack of interest in the evidence supporting guidelines, feelings that they erode professionalism, and expectations that people should be paid to change practice threaten successful implementation.
Objective: This multisite study compared the perceptions of three stakeholder groups regarding information technologies as barriers to and facilitators of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs).
Design: The study settings were 18 U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. A purposive sample of 322 individuals participated in 50 focus groups segmented by profession and included administrators, physicians, and nurses. Focus group participants were selected based on their knowledge of practice guidelines and involvement in facility-wide guideline implementation.
Measurements: Descriptive content analysis of 1,500 pages of focus group transcripts.
Results: Eighteen themes clustered into four domains. Stakeholders were similar in discussing themes in the computer function domain most frequently but divergent in other domains, with workplace factors more often discussed by administrators, system design issues discussed most by nurses, and personal concerns discussed by physicians and nurses. Physicians and nurses most often discussed barriers, whereas administrators focused most often on facilitation. Facilitators included guideline maintenance and charting formats. Barriers included resources, attitudes, time and workload, computer glitches, computer complaints, data retrieval, and order entry. Themes with dual designations included documentation, patient records, decision support, performance evaluation, CPG implementation, computer literacy, essential data, and computer accessibility.
Conclusion: Stakeholders share many concerns regarding the relationships between information technologies and clinical guideline use. However, administrators, physicians, and nurses hold different opinions about specific facilitators and barriers. Health professionals' disparate perceptions could undermine guideline initiatives. Implementation plans should specifically incorporate actions to address these barriers and enhance the facilitative aspects of information technologies in clinical practice guideline use.
Patients in hospitals and nursing homes are at risk of the development of, often preventable, adverse events (AEs), which threaten patient safety. Guidelines for prevention of many types of AEs are available, however, compliance with these guidelines appears to be lacking. Besides general barriers that inhibit implementation, this non-compliance is associated with the large number of guidelines competing for attention. As implementation of a guideline is time-consuming, it is difficult for organisations to implement all available guidelines. Another problem is lack of feedback about performance using quality indicators of guideline based care and lack of a recognisable, unambiguous system for implementation. A program that allows organisations to implement multiple guidelines simultaneously may facilitate guideline use and thus improve patient safety.
The aim of this study is to develop and test such an integral patient safety program that addresses several AEs simultaneously in hospitals and nursing homes. This paper reports the design of this study.
Methods and design
The patient safety program addresses three AEs: pressure ulcers, falls and urinary tract infections. It consists of bundles and outcome and process indicators based on the existing evidence based guidelines. In addition it includes a multifaceted tailored implementation strategy: education, patient involvement, and a computerized registration and feedback system. The patient safety program was tested in a cluster randomised trial on ten hospital wards and ten nursing home wards. The baseline period was three months followed by the implementation of the patient safety program for fourteen months. Subsequently the follow-up period was nine months. Primary outcome measure was the incidence of AEs on every ward. Secondary outcome measures were the utilization of preventive interventions and the knowledge of nurses regarding the three topics. Randomisation took place on ward level. The results will be analysed separately for hospitals and nursing homes.
Major challenges were the development of the patient safety program including a digital registration and feedback system and the implementation of the patient safety program.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov ID [NCT00365430]
The potential barriers and facilitators to change should guide the choice of implementation strategy. Implementation researchers believe that existing methods for the evaluation of potential barriers and facilitators are not satisfactory. Discrete choice experiments (DCE) are relatively new in the health care sector to investigate preferences, and may be of value in the field of implementation research. The objective of our study was to investigate the complementary value of DCE for the evaluation of barriers and facilitators in implementation research.
Clinical subject was the implementation of the guideline for breast cancer surgery in day care. We identified 17 potential barriers and facilitators to the implementation of this guideline. We used a traditional questionnaire that was made up of statements about the potential barriers and facilitators. Respondents answered 17 statements on a five-point scale ranging from one (fully disagree) to five (fully agree). The potential barriers and facilitators were included in the DCE as decision attributes. Data were gathered among anaesthesiologists, surgical oncologists, and breast care nurses by means of a paper-and-pencil questionnaire.
The overall response was 10%. The most striking finding was that the responses to the traditional questionnaire hardly differentiated between barriers. Forty-seven percent of the respondents thought that DCE is an inappropriate method. These respondents considered DCE too difficult and too time-consuming. Unlike the traditional questionnaire, the results of a DCE provide implementation researchers and clinicians with a relative attribute importance ranking that can be used to prioritize potential barriers and facilitators to change, and hence to better fine-tune the implementation strategies to the specific problems and challenges of a particular implementation process.
The results of our DCE and traditional questionnaire would probably lead to different implementation strategies. Although there is no 'gold standard' for prioritising potential barriers and facilitators to the implementation of change, theoretically, DCE would be the method of choice. However, the feasibility of using DCE was less favourable. Further empirical applications should investigate whether DCE can really make a valuable contribution to the implementation science.
Barriers exist that prevent nurse practitioners from using their primary health care knowledge and skills. We present the incidence of and specific barriers experienced by nurse practitioner respondents in California, the state with the largest number of nurse practitioners in the nation. A January 1995 survey was sent to all nurse practitioners certified in California to elicit their experiences regarding legal or social barriers in their practice, with space for an open-ended response. Of an estimated 3,895 nurse practitioners in California, 2,741 (70%) returned surveys. Most nurse practitioner (65%) respondents in California are providing primary care. Perceived barriers to practice are lack of prescriptive authority, lack of support from physicians, reimbursement difficulties, and lack of public awareness. Current barriers to nurse practitioner practice in California are similar to national barriers discovered in 1992 data. The development of interprofessional dialogue and the recognition of the contributions of all primary care professionals are some of the steps that can be taken to reduce these barriers and increase the use and effectiveness of nurse practitioners in primary care.
The effect of clinical guidelines on resource utilization for complex conditions with substantial barriers to clinician behavior change has not been well studied. We report the impact of a multifaceted guideline implementation intervention on primary care clinician utilization of radiologic and specialty services for the care of acute low back pain.
Physician groups were randomized to receive guideline education and individual feedback, supporting patient education materials, both, or neither. The impact on guideline adherence and resource utilization was evaluated during the 12-month period before and after implementation.
Fourteen physician groups with 120 primary care physician and associate practitioners from 2 group model HMO practices.
Guideline implementation utilized an education/audit/feedback model with local peer opinion leaders. The patient education component included written and videotaped materials on the care of low back pain.
The clinician intervention was associated with an absolute increase in guideline-consistent behavior of 5.4% in the intervention group versus a decline of 2.7% in the control group (P = .04). The patient education intervention produced no significant change in guideline-consistent behavior, but was poorly adopted. Patient characteristics including duration of pain, prior history of low back pain, and number of visits during the illness episode were strong predictors of service utilization and guideline-consistent behavior.
Implementation of an education and feedback-supported acute low back pain care guideline for primary care clinicians was associated with an increase in guideline-consistent behavior. Patient education materials did not enhance guideline effectiveness. Implementation barriers could limit the utility of this approach in usual care setttings.
clinical guidelines; feedback; low back pain; patient education; randomized trial
This study was a pre-program evaluation of hospital-based nurses' tobacco intervention beliefs, confidence, training, practice, and perceived intervention barriers and facilitators. It was designed to identify relevant information prior to implementing tobacco cessation guidelines across a large northern rural region, home to 1 urban and 12 rural hospitals.
This cross-sectional survey was distributed by nurse managers to nurses in the 13 hospitals and returned by nurses (N = 269) via mail to the researchers.
Nurses were somewhat confident providing cessation interventions, agreed they should educate patients about tobacco, and 94% perceived tobacco counselling as part of their role. Although only 11% had received cessation training, the majority reported intervening, even if seldom--91% asked about tobacco-use, 96% advised quitting, 89% assessed readiness to quit, 88% assisted with quitting, and 61% arranged post-discharge follow-up. Few performed any of these steps frequently, and among those who intervened, the majority spent < 10 minutes. The most frequently performed activities tended to take the least amount of time, while the more complex activities (e.g., teaching coping skills and pharmacotherapy education) were seldom performed. Patient-related factors (quitting benefits and motivation) encouraged nurses to intervene and work-related factors discouraged them (time and workloads). There were significant rural-urban differences--more rural nurses perceived intervening as part of their role, reported having more systems in place to support cessation, reported higher confidence for intervening, and more frequently assisted patients with quitting and arranged follow-up.
The findings showed nurses' willingness to engage in tobacco interventions. What the majority were doing maps onto the recommended minimum of 1-3 minutes but intervention frequency and follow-up were suboptimal. The rural-urban differences suggest a need for more research to explore the strengths of rural practice which could potentially inform approaches to smoking cessation in urban hospitals.
A gap exists between the best evidence and practice with regards to surgical site infection (SSI) prevention. Awareness of evidence is the first step in knowledge translation.
A web-based survey was distributed to 59 general surgeons and 68 residents at University of Toronto teaching hospitals. Five domains pertaining to SSI prevention with questions addressing knowledge of prevention strategies, efficacy of antibiotics, strategies for changing practice and barriers to implementation of SSI prevention strategies were investigated.
Seventy-six individuals (60%) responded. More than 90% of respondents stated there was evidence for antibiotic prophylaxis and perioperative normothermia and reported use of these strategies. There was a discrepancy in the perceived evidence for and the self-reported use of perioperative hyperoxia, omission of hair removal and bowel preparation. Eighty-three percent of respondents felt that consulting published guidelines is important in making decisions regarding antibiotics. There was also a discrepancy between what respondents felt were important strategies to ensure timely administration of antibiotics and what strategies were in place. Checklists, standardized orders, protocols and formal surveillance programs were rated most highly by 75%–90% of respondents, but less than 50% stated that these strategies were in place at their institutions.
Broad-reaching initiatives that increase surgeon and trainee awareness and implementation of multifaceted hospital strategies that engage residents and attending surgeons are needed to change practice.
Optimizing the dietary intake of older people can prevent nutritional deficiencies and diet-related diseases, thereby improving quality of life. However, there is evidence that the nutritional intake of older people living in care homes is suboptimal, with high levels of saturated fat, salt, and added sugars. The UK Food Standards Agency therefore developed nutrient- and food-based guidance for residential care homes. The acceptability of these guidelines and their feasibility in practice is unknown. This study used the Normalization Process Theory (NPT) to understand the barriers and facilitators to implementing the guidelines and inform future implementation.
We conducted a process evaluation in five care homes in the north of England using qualitative methods (observation and interviews) to explore the views of managers, care staff, catering staff, and domestic staff. Data were analyzed thematically and discussed in data workshops; emerging themes were then mapped to the constructs of NPT.
Many staff perceived the guidelines as unnecessarily restrictive and irrelevant to older people. In terms of NPT, the guidelines simply did not make sense (coherence), and as a result, relatively few staff invested in the guidelines (cognitive participation). Even where staff supported the guidelines, implementation was hampered by a lack of nutritional knowledge and institutional support (collective action). Finally, the absence of observable benefits to clients confirmed the negative preconceptions of many staff, with limited evidence of reappraisal following implementation (reflexive monitoring).
The successful implementation of the nutrition guidelines requires that the fundamental issues relating to their perceived value and fit with other priorities and goals be addressed. Specialist support is needed to equip staff with the technical knowledge and skills required for menu analysis and development and to devise ways of evaluating the outcomes of modified menus. NPT proved useful in conceptualizing barriers to implementation; robust links with behavior-change theories would further increase the practical utility of NPT.
Normalization process theory; Nutrition policy; Guideline; Long-term care; Older people; Qualitative research
A number of recent reports published in the UK have put the quality of care of adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) centre stage. These documents set high standards for health care professionals and commissioning bodies that need to be implemented into routine clinical practice. We therefore have obtained the views of recipients and providers of care in inner city settings as to what they perceive are the barriers to providing integrated care.
We conducted focus groups and face to face interviews between 2005-8 with 79 participants (patients, carers, specialist medical and nursing outpatient staff and general practitioners (GPs)) working in or attending three hospitals and three primary care trusts (PCT).
Three barriers were identified that stood in the way of seamless integrated care in RA from the perspective of patients, carers, specialists and GPs: (i) early referral (e.g. 'gate keeper's role of GPs); (ii) limitations of ongoing care for established RA (e.g. lack of consultation time in secondary care) and (iii) management of acute flares (e.g. pressure on overbooked clinics).
This timely study of the multi-perspective views of recipients and providers of care was conducted during the time of publications of many important reports in the United Kingdom (UK) that highlighted key components in the provision of high quality care for adults with RA. To achieve seamless care across primary and secondary care requires organisational changes, greater personal and professional collaboration and GP education about RA.
One strategy to enhance research use and change current practice is to identify barriers and then implement tailored interventions to reduce these barriers. In nursing, the BARRIERS scale has been frequently used to identify nurses' perceptions of barriers to research utilization. However, this scale has not been applied to care of older people, and only one study has investigated how identified barriers link to research utilization. Therefore, the purpose of this study was twofold: to describe RNs' perceptions of barriers to and facilitators of research utilization and to examine the validity of the BARRIERS scale in relation to research use.
A cross-sectional survey design was used and registered nurses (RNs) working in the care of older people participated (response rate 67%, n = 140/210). Two questionnaires, the BARRIERS scale and the Research Utilization Questionnaire (RUQ), were used. Data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate inferential statistics.
Characteristics of the organization and the presentation of research findings were rated as the most prominent barriers. The three items most frequently reported as barriers were: the nurse is isolated from knowledgeable colleagues with whom to discuss the research (89%); the facilities are inadequate for implementation (88%); and, the relevant literature is not compiled in one place (81%). Surveyed RNs suggested more support from unit managers and better availability of user-friendly reports in Swedish to enhance research use.
The RNs reported a modest use of research. A weak but significant correlation was found between the Research Use index in RUQ and the Presentation subscale in the BARRIERS scale (r = -0.289, p < 0.01), suggesting that the RNs reporting more research use were less likely to perceive presentation of research as a barrier. Dividing the sample into research users (n = 29) and non-research users (n = 105), the research users rated significantly lower on the subscales Presentation, Nurse and Research in the BARRIERS scale.
The BARRIERS scale revealed differences in the perception of barriers between research users and non-research users. Thus, methodologically the scale appears useful in identifying some types of barriers to research utilization but not organizational barriers. The identified barriers, however, are general and wide-ranging, making it difficult to design useful specific interventions.
Patient decision aids are increasingly regarded as important components of clinical practice that enable shared decision making (SDM) and evidence based patient choice. Despite broad acceptance of their value, there remains little evidence of their successful implementation in primary care settings.
Health care practitioners from five general practice surgeries in northern England participated in focus group sessions around the themes of patient decision aids, patient and practitioner preferences and SDM. Participants included general practitioners (n = 19), practice nurses (n = 5) and auxiliary staff (n = 3). Transcripts were analysed using a framework approach.
We report a) practitioners' discussion of the current impetus towards sharing decisions and their perspectives on barriers to SDM, and b) the implementation of patient decision aids in practice and impediments such as lack of an evidence base and time available in consultations.
We demonstrate two orientations to sharing decisions: practitioner-centred and patient-centred with the former predominating. We argue that it is necessary to rethink the changes required in practice for the implementation of SDM.
Pressure ulcers are a serious complication for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine (CSCM) published clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) that provided guidance for pressure ulcer prevention and treatment after SCI. The aim of this study was to assess providers' perceptions for each of the 32 CPG recommendations regarding their agreement with CPGs, degree of CPG implementation, and CPG implementation barriers and facilitators.
This descriptive mixed-methods study included both qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (survey) data collection approaches. The sample (n = 60) included 24 physicians and 36 nurses who attended the 2004 annual national conferences of the American Paraplegia Society or American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Nurses. This sample drew from two sources: a purposive sample from a list of preregistered participants and a convenience sample of conference attendee volunteers. We analyzed quantitative data using descriptive statistics and qualitative data using a coding scheme to capture barriers and facilitators.
The focus groups agreed unanimously on the substance of 6 of the 32 recommendations. Nurse and physician focus groups disagreed on the degree of CGP implementation at their sites, with nurses as a group perceiving less progress in implementation of the guideline recommendations. The focus groups identified only one recommendation, complications of surgery, as being fully implemented at their sites. Categories of barriers and facilitators for implementation of CPGs that emerged from the qualitative analysis included (a) characteristics of CPGs: need for research/evidence, (b) characteristics of CPGs: complexity of design and wording, (c) organizational factors, (d) lack of knowledge, and (e) lack of resources.
Although generally SCI physicians and nurses agreed with the CPG recommendations as written, they did not feel these recommendations were fully implemented in their respective clinical settings. The focus groups identified multiple barriers to the implementation of the CPGs and suggested several facilitators/solutions to improve implementation of these guidelines in SCI. Participants identified organizational factors and the lack of knowledge as the most substantial systems/issues that created barriers to CPG implementation.
Decubitus ulcer; Skin ulcer; Pressure ulcer; Practice guidelines; Evidence-based medicine; Prevention; Spinal cord injuries
To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of primary health care providers regarding the identification and management of domestic violence in a hospital based primary health care setting.
A survey of all clinicians and nursing staff of the outpatient, casualty and antenatal clinics in University Malaya Medical Centre using a self-administered questionnaire.
Hundred and eight out of 188 available staff participated. Sixty-two percent of the clinicians and 66.9% of the nursing staff perceived the prevalence of domestic violence within their patients to be very rare or rare. Majority of the clinicians (68.9%) reported asking their patients regarding domestic violence 'at times' but 26.2% had never asked at all. Time factor, concern about offending the patient and unsure of how to ask were reported as barriers in asking for domestic violence by 66%, 52.5% and 32.8% of the clinicians respectively. Clinicians have different practices and levels of confidence within the management of domestic violence. Victim-blaming attitude exists in 28% of the clinicians and 51.1% of the nursing staff. Less than a third of the participants reported knowing of any written protocol for domestic violence management. Only 20% of the clinicians and 6.8% of the nursing staff had ever attended any educational program related to domestic violence.
Lack of positive attitude and positive practices among the staff towards domestic violence identification and management might be related to inadequate knowledge and inappropriate personal values regarding domestic violence.
Health authorities in several countries have decided that the health care services should be evidence-based. Recent research indicates that evidence-based practice may be more successfully implemented if the interventions overcome identified barriers.
The present study aimed to examine factors influencing the implementation of evidence-based practice among nurses in a large Norwegian university hospital.
Cross-sectional data was collected from 407 nurses during the period November 8 to December 3, 2010, using the Norwegian version of Developing Evidence-based Practice questionnaire (DEBP). The DEBP included data on various sources of information used for support in practice, on potential barriers for evidence-based practice, and on self-reported skills on managing research-based evidence. The DEBP was translated into Norwegian in accordance with standardized guidelines for translation and cultural adaptation.
Nurses largely used experienced-based knowledge collected from their own observations, colleagues and other collaborators for support in practice. Evidence from research was seldom used. The greatest barriers were lack of time and lack of skills to find and manage research evidence. The nurse’s age, the number of years of nursing practice, and the number of years since obtaining the last health professional degree influenced the use of sources of knowledge and self-reported barriers. Self-reported skills in finding, reviewing and using different sources of evidence were positively associated with the use of research evidence and inversely related to barriers in use of research evidence.
Skills in evidence-based practice seem to reduce barriers to using research evidence and to increase use of research evidence in clinical practice.
Evidence-based practice; Nurses; Sources of knowledge; Barriers
Implementation of guidelines in clinical practice is difficult. In 2003, the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians (DEGAM) released an evidence-based guideline for the management of low back pain (LBP) in primary care. The objective of this study is to explore the acceptance of guideline content and perceived barriers to implementation.
Seventy-two general practitioners (GPs) participating in quality circles within the framework of an educational intervention study for guideline implementation evaluated the LBP-guideline and its practicability with a standardised questionnaire. In addition, statements of group discussions were recorded using the metaplan technique and were incorporated in the discussion.
Most GPs agree with the guideline content but believe that guideline stipulations are not congruent with patient wishes. Non-adherence to the guideline and contradictory information for patients by other professionals (e.g., GPs, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists) are important barriers to guideline adherence. Almost half of the GPs have no access to recommended multimodal pain programs for patients with chronic LBP.
Promoting adherence to the LBP guideline requires more than enhancing knowledge about evidence-based management of LBP. Public education and an interdisciplinary consensus are important requirements for successful guideline implementation into daily practice. Guideline recommendations need to be adapted to the infrastructure of the health care system.
BMBF Grant Nr. 01EM0113. FORIS (database for research projects in social science) Reg #: 20040116 .
Theories of behaviour change indicate that an analysis of factors that facilitate or impede change is helpful when trying to influence professional practice. The aim of this study was to identify barriers to implementing evidence-based guidelines for urinary tract infection and sore throat in general practice in Norway, and to tailor interventions to address these barriers.
We used a checklist to identify barriers and possible interventions to address these in an iterative process that included a review of the literature, brainstorming, focus groups, a pilot study, small group discussions and interviews.
We identified at least one barrier for each category. Both guidelines recommended increased use of telephone consultations and reduced use of laboratory tests, and the barriers and the interventions were similar for the two guidelines. The complexity of changing routines involving patients, general practitioners and general practitioner assistants, loss of income with telephone consultations, fear of overlooking serious disease, perceived patient expectations and lack of knowledge about the evidence for the guidelines were the most prominent barriers. The interventions that were tailored to address these barriers included support for change processes in the practices, increasing the fee for telephone consultations, patient information leaflets and computer-based decision support and reminders.
A systematic approach using qualitative methods helped identify barriers and generate ideas for tailoring interventions to support the implementation of guidelines for the management of urinary tract infections and sore throat. Lack of resources limited our ability to address all of the barriers adequately.
To assess attitudes of ICU staff members toward practice guidelines in general and toward a specific guideline, CDC's Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings; to correlate these attitudes with staff and hospital characteristics; and to examine the impact of staff attitudes toward the Hand Hygiene Guideline on self reported implementation of the Guideline.
A cross-sectional survey of staff in 70 ICUs in 39 U.S. hospitals, members of The National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance (NNIS) System. A survey, “Attitudes Regarding Practice Guidelines”, was administered anonymously to all willing staff during a site visit at each hospital; 1,359 ICU personnel: 1,003 nurses (74%), 228 physicians (17%), and 128 others (10%) responded.
Significantly more positive attitudes toward practice guidelines were found among staff in pediatric as compared with adult ICUs (p<0.001). Nurses and other staff when compared with physicians had more positive attitudes toward guidelines in general but not toward the specific Hand Hygiene Guideline. Those with more positive attitudes were significantly more likely to report that they had implemented recommendations of the Guideline (p<0.001) and used an alcohol product for hand hygiene (p=0.002).
The majority of staff members were familiar with the CDC Hand Hygiene Guideline. Staff attitudes toward practice guidelines varied by type of ICU and by profession, and more positive attitudes were associated with significantly better self-reported guideline implementation. Because differences in staff attitudes might hinder or facilitate their acceptance and adoption of evidence-based practice guidelines, these results may have important implications for the education and/or socialization of ICU staff.
practice guidelines; attitudes; adherence; hand hygiene
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
OBJECTIVES: To describe common barriers that limit the effect of guidelines on patient care, with emphasis on recommendations for triage in the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) Unstable Angina Clinical Practice Guideline. DATA SOURCES: Previously reported results from a prospective clinical study of 10,785 patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms suggestive of acute cardiac ischemia. STUDY DESIGN: Design is an analysis of the AHCPR guideline with regard to recognized barriers in guideline implementation. Presentation of hypothetical scenarios to ED physicians was used to determine interrater reliability in applying the guideline to assess risk and to make triage decisions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The AHCPR guideline's triage recommendations demonstrate (1) poor interobserver reliability in interpretation by ED physicians; (2) limited applicability of recommendations for outpatient management (applies to 6 percent of patients presenting to the ED with unstable angina); (3) incomplete specifications of exceptions that may require deviation from guideline recommendations; (4) unexpected effects on medical care by significantly increasing the demand for limited intensive care beds; and (5) unknown effects on patient outcomes. In addition, analysis of the guideline highlights the need to address organizational barriers, such as administrative policies that conflict with guideline recommendations and the need to adapt the guideline to conform to local systems of care. CONCLUSIONS: Careful analysis of guideline attributes, projected effect on medical care, and organizational factors reveal several barriers to successful guideline implementation that should be addressed in the design of future guideline-based interventions.
Supported by a supplement to our Clinical and Translational Science Award, we studied the feasibility of implementing clinical research in Northern Manhattan community practices that primarily serve Hispanic patients.
We applied a mixed methods approach (surveys, focus groups, interviews) based upon the PRECEDE-PROCEED model to determine the level of interest in clinical research among community clinicians (Practice-based Research Network (PBRN) and non-PBRN members), the perceived barriers that hamper participation in clinical research, and the perceived facilitators for conducting research in such practices.
Survey and qualitative data indicated strong interest in clinical research among current and potential PBRN members if it was relevant to improving quality of care in their practice or community. They also identified important perceived barriers (lack of time, inadequate training in research methods, lack of collaborators and support staff, institutional review board hurdles, and community distrust of research) and the necessary requirements for overcoming barriers to conducting research in busy clinical settings: collaborators, mentors, research support staff, and trusting patient-clinician relationship.
It is feasible to conduct clinical research studies in urban community medical practices if the topics are relevant to the community and appropriate enabling structures and processes are put into place.
Only 1-3% of ischemic stroke patients receive thrombolytic therapy. Provider barriers to adhering with guidelines recommending tPA delivery in acute stroke are not well known. The main objective of this study was to describe barriers to thrombolytic use in acute stroke care.
Twenty-four hospitals were randomly selected and matched into 12 pairs. Barrier assessment occurred at intervention sites only, and utilized focus groups and structured interviews. A pre-specified taxonomy was employed to characterize barriers. Two investigators independently assigned themes to transcribed responses. Seven facilitators (three emergency physicians, two nurses, and two study coordinators) conducted focus groups and interviews of emergency physicians (65), nurses (62), neurologists (15), radiologists (12), hospital administrators (12), and three others (hospitalists and pharmacist).
The following themes represented the most important external barriers: environmental and patient factors. Important barriers internal to the clinician included familiarity with and motivation to adhere to the guidelines, lack of self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. The following themes were not substantial barriers: lack of awareness of the existence of acute stroke guidelines, presence of conflicting guidelines, and lack of agreement with the guidelines.
Healthcare providers perceive environmental and patient-related factors as the primary barriers to adherence with acute stroke treatment guidelines. Interventions focused on increasing physician familiarity with and motivation to follow guidelines may be of highest yield in improving adherence. Improving self-efficacy in performing guideline concordant care may also be useful.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00349479