A proportion of women planning to give birth in a midwifery unit will experience complications during labour that necessitate transfer to an obstetric unit. Local guidelines for the transfer of women in labour have the potential to impact on quality of care and the safety of the transfer process.
To systematically appraise the quality of local NHS guidelines on the transfer of women from midwifery unit to obstetric unit during labour.
Guidelines were requested from all 52 NHS hospital trusts in England with midwifery units. The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation Instrument was used to evaluate the quality of the guidelines received.
Relevant guidelines were received from 34 (65%) trusts. No guidelines scored on the ‘editorial independence’ domain. The mean score on ‘scope and purpose’ (56.2%), concerned with the aims, clinical questions and target patient population of the guideline, was higher than for other domains: ‘clarity and presentation’ (language and format) 45.3%, ‘stakeholder involvement’ (representation of users’ views) 15.3%, ‘rigour of development’ (process used to develop guideline) 15.0%, ‘applicability’ (organisational, behavioural and cost implications of applying guideline) 7.1%. Only three guidelines were recommended for use in clinical practice.
We believe this to be the first systematic appraisal of the quality of local NHS guidelines. Overall these local guidelines were of poor quality. It is not clear whether the quality of these midwifery guidelines is typical of local guidelines in other clinical areas, but this study raises fundamental questions about the appropriate development of high-quality local clinical 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.
The accurate assessment and appropriate repair of birth related perineal trauma require high levels of skill and competency, with evidence based guideline recommendations available to inform UK midwifery practice. Implementation of guideline recommendations could reduce maternal morbidity associated with perineal trauma, which is commonly reported and persistent, with potential to deter women from a future vaginal birth. Despite evidence, limited attention is paid to this important aspect of midwifery practice. We wished to identify how midwives in the UK assessed and repaired perineal trauma and the extent to which practice reflected evidence based guidance. Findings would be used to inform the content of a large intervention study.
A descriptive cross sectional study was completed. One thousand randomly selected midwives were accessed via the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and sent a questionnaire. Study inclusion criteria included that the midwives were in clinical practice and undertook perineal assessment and management within their current role. Quantitative and qualitative data were collated. Associations between midwife characteristics and implementation of evidence based recommendations for perineal assessment and management were examined using chi-square tests of association.
405 midwives (40.5%) returned a questionnaire, 338 (83.5%) of whom met inclusion criteria. The majority worked in a consultant led unit (235, 69.5%) and over a third had been qualified for 20 years or longer (129, 38.2%). Compliance with evidence was poor. Few (6%) midwives used evidence based suturing methods to repair all layers of perineal trauma and only 58 (17.3%) performed rectal examination as part of routine perineal trauma assessment. Over half (192, 58.0%) did not suture all second degree tears. Feeling confident to assess perineal trauma all of the time was only reported by 116 (34.3%) midwives, with even fewer (73, 21.6%) feeling confident to perform perineal repair all of the time. Two thirds of midwives (63.5%) felt confident to perform an episiotomy. Midwives qualified for 20 years or longer and those on more senior clinical grades were most likely to implement evidence based recommendations and feel confident about perineal management.
There are considerable gaps with implementation of evidence to support management of perineal trauma.
Perineal trauma; Episiotomy; Suturing methods; Maternal morbidity; Midwifery practice
Objective: To determine whether North American guidelines published subsequent to and in the same topic areas as those developed by the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) meet the same methodological criteria.
Study design: A guideline appraisal instrument containing 30 criteria was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the AHCPR guidelines, "updates" of the AHCPR guidelines authored by others, and guidelines that referenced or were adapted from the AHCPR guidelines. The frequency with which the criteria appeared in each guideline was compared and an analysis was performed to determine guidelines with two key features of the ACHPR guidelines—multidisciplinary guideline development panels and systematic reviews of the literature. Data were extracted from the guidelines by one investigator and then checked for accuracy by the other.
Results: Fifty two guidelines identified by broad based searches were evaluated. 50% of the criteria were present in every AHCPR guideline. The AHCPR guidelines scored 80% or more on 24 of the 30 criteria compared with 14 for the "updates" and 11 for those that referenced/adapted the AHCPR guidelines. All of the 17 AHCPR guidelines had both multidisciplinary development panels and systematic reviews of the literature compared with five from the other two categories (p<0.05).
Conclusions: North American guidelines developed subsequent to and in the same topic areas as the AHCPR guidelines are of substantially worse methodological quality and ignore key features important to guideline development. This finding contrasts with previously published conclusions that guideline methodological quality is improving over time.
BACKGROUND: Many policy and research documents on the treatment of depression in primary care suggest that general practitioners (GPs) should make use of clinical guidelines. AIM: To describe the content of peer-reviewed guidelines for the detection and treatment of depression in primary care and help GPs identify the one most useful to their own needs. METHOD: Guidelines were evaluated by an explicit method using the Institute of Medicine assessment instrument and according to six key clinical management questions identified as important by GPs and psychiatrists. RESULTS: Only five (30%) of the published guidelines identified met all the pre-defined inclusion criteria. Total scores for development process and content ranged from 54% to 82%. Validity scores ranged from 52% to 88%. No guideline answered all the key questions identified by clinicians. CONCLUSIONS: Only two guidelines conform to the quality standard of a clinical practice guideline. One covers all aspects of detection and management of depression in primary care but gives no advice on first-line choice of antidepressant, while the other focuses only on medication and fails to explore problems of case detection or to consider non-pharmacological treatments. However, taken together they do cover most of the key clinical issues in a reliable and valid manner. The identified guidelines vary considerably in both utility and clinical applicability.
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
Numerous agencies have developed clinical practice guidelines for the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis. The study objective was to conduct a systematic assessment of the quality of osteoporosis guidelines produced since 1998.
Guidelines were identified by searching MEDLINE (1998+), the world wide web, known guideline developer websites, bibliographies of retrieved guidelines, and through consultation with content experts. Each guideline was then assessed by three independent appraisers using the 'Appraisal Instrument for Clinical Guidelines' (version 1) by Cluzeau.
We identified 26 unique guidelines from 1998–2001 and 21 met our inclusion criteria. Of the 21 guidelines reviewed, 8 were developed by medical societies, 6 by national groups, 6 by government agencies, and 1 by an international group. Twelve of the guidelines were published, 7 were organizational reports, and 2 were accessible only from the web. Half or more of the 20 items assessing the rigor of guideline development were met by 15% (median quality score 23%, range 5–80%, (95% CI 16.5, 34.7)), 81% met at least half of the 12 items assessing guideline content and context (median score 58%, range 17–83%, (95% CI 50.8, 65.5)), and none met half or more of the items assessing guideline application (median score 0%, range 0–47%, (95% CI -0.5 to 12.6)). Eight guidelines described the method used to assess the strength of evidence, and in 6 there was an explicit link between recommendations and the supporting evidence. Ten guidelines were judged not suitable for use in practice, 10 were acceptable with modification, and one was acceptable for use without modification.
The methodological quality of current osteoporosis guidelines is low, although their scores for clinical content were higher. Virtually no guidelines covered dissemination issues. Few guidelines were judged as acceptable for use in their current format.
It is important that healthcare provided in crisis settings is based on the best available research evidence. We reviewed guidelines for child and perinatal health care in crisis situations to determine whether they were based on research evidence, whether Cochrane systematic reviews were available in the clinical areas addressed by these guidelines and whether summaries of these reviews were provided in Evidence Aid.
Broad internet searches were undertaken to identify relevant guidelines. Guidelines were appraised using AGREE and the clinical areas that were relevant to perinatal or child health were extracted. We searched The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify potentially relevant reviews. For each review we determined how many trials were included, and how many were conducted in resource-limited settings.
Six guidelines met selection criteria. None of the included guidelines were clearly based on research evidence. 198 Cochrane reviews were potentially relevant to the guidelines. These reviews predominantly addressed nutrient supplementation, breastfeeding, malaria, maternal hypertension, premature labour and prevention of HIV transmission. Most reviews included studies from developing settings. However for large portions of the guidelines, particularly health services delivery, there were no relevant reviews. Only 18 (9.1%) reviews have summaries in Evidence Aid.
We did not identify any evidence-based guidelines for perinatal and child health care in disaster settings. We found many Cochrane reviews that could contribute to the evidence-base supporting future guidelines. However there are important issues to be addressed in terms of the relevance of the available reviews and increasing the number of reviews addressing health care delivery.
The increased prevalence of obesity in pregnant women in Australia and other developed countries is a significant public health concern. Obese women are at increased risk of serious perinatal complications and guidelines recommend weight gain restriction and additional care. There is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of dietary and physical activity lifestyle interventions in preventing adverse perinatal outcomes and new strategies need to be evaluated. The primary aim of this project is to evaluate the effect of continuity of midwifery care on restricting gestational weight gain in obese women to the recommended range. The secondary aims of the study are to assess the impact of continuity of midwifery care on: women's experience of pregnancy care; women's satisfaction with care and a range of psychological factors.
A two arm randomised controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted with primigravid women recruited from maternity services in Victoria, Australia. Participants will be primigravid women, with a BMI≥30 who are less than 17 weeks gestation. Women allocated to the intervention arm will be cared for in a midwifery continuity of care model and receive an informational leaflet on managing weight gain in pregnancy. Women allocated to the control group will receive routine care in addition to the same informational leaflet. Weight gain during pregnancy, standards of care, medical and obstetric information will be extracted from medical records. Data collected at recruitment (self administered survey) and at 36 weeks by postal survey will include socio-demographic information and the use of validated scales to measure secondary outcomes.
Continuity of midwifery care models are well aligned with current Victorian, Australian and many international government policies on maternity care. Increasingly, midwifery continuity models of care are being introduced in low risk maternity care, and information on their application in high risk populations is required. There is an identified need to trial alternative antenatal interventions to reduce perinatal risk factors for women who are obese and the findings from this project may have application in other maternity services. In addition this study will inform a larger trial that will focus on birth and postnatal outcomes.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610001078044.
The aim of this study was to develop nursing practice guidelines and algorithms for the pre- and postoperative care of gastric cancer patients.
The guidelines and algorithms were developed based on a literature review and subject-matter experts' knowledge. The usefulness and applicability of the developed guidelines and algorithms were evaluated by the expert group.
The guidelines comprised 64 recommendations and algorithms for admission care, preoperative care on the day before the operation, preoperative care on the operation day, immediate postoperative assessment, postoperative care, and discharge care of gastric cancer patients. After appropriate evaluation, the experts declared the guidelines to be both useful and applicable.
The guidelines developed in this study can be used for patient care and for training nursing students and novice nurses. In addition, these guidelines can be integrated into the electronic nursing record system for clinical decision support in the future. This will improve the quality of clinical nursing and the expertise of nurses.
Clinical Practice Guidelines; Gastric Cancer Patients; Preoperative Care; Postoperative Care
People with vascular risk factors are at increased risk for cognitive impairment as well as vascular disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether vascular risk factor clinical practice guidelines consider cognition as an outcome or in connection with treatment compliance.
Articles from PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were assessed by at least two reviewers and were included if: (1) Either hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, or atrial fibrillation was targeted; (2) The guideline was directed at physicians; (3) Adult patients (aged 19 years or older) were targeted; and (4) The guideline was published in English. Of 91 guidelines, most were excluded because they were duplicates, older versions, or focused on single outcomes.
Of the 20 clinical practice guidelines that met inclusion criteria, five mentioned cognition. Of these five, four described potential treatment benefits but only two mentioned that cognition may affect compliance. No guidelines adequately described how to screen for cognitive impairment.
Despite evidence that links cognitive impairment to vascular risk factors, only a minority of clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of vascular risk factors consider cognition as either an adverse outcome or as a factor to consider in treatment.
clinical practice guidelines; evidence-based medicine; vascular risk; cognition; target organ damage
Main problem: Little is known about the methodological quality of guidelines for low back pain treatment. We evaluated the methods used by the developers according to established standards. Methods: PubMed, guideline databases, and the World Wide Web were used to identify guidelines. Seventeen guidelines met the inclusion criteria: interventions for low back pain stated, recommendations based on or explicitly linked to evidence, and English version available. Guidelines were evaluated independently by two appraisers using a practical tool for this purpose, Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature, and the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument. Results: Thirteen guidelines (76%) specified the most important therapies applied, but only nine (53%) included a complete description of the target population. Explicit processes to identify, select, and combine evidence were described in only six guidelines (35%). Few guidelines (3; 18%) explicitly considered all main outcomes when formulating therapeutic recommendations, and none contained a process to determine the relative value of different outcomes. Methodological criteria for grading the strength of the recommendations varied, and were often insufficiently specified. None of the guidelines assessed the impact of uncertainty associated with the evidence and values used. According to AGREE the quality score was highest for the scope and purpose, and clarity and presentation domains, and lowest for editorial independence and applicability. With regard to the recommendations, there was consensus for some of the interventions for acute pain (analgesics and NSAIDs, maintaining physical activity, and avoiding excessive bed rest), but explicit recommendations were lacking or ambiguous for 41% of the interventions. Most of the guidelines did not contemplate specific recommendations for chronic pain. Conclusions: A small number of the available guidelines for low back pain treatment achieved acceptable results for specific quality criteria. In general, the methods to develop the guidelines’ therapeutic recommendations need to be more rigorous, more explicit and better explained. In addition, greater importance should be placed on the recommendations for chronic pain.
Low back pain; Guidelines; Practice guidelines; Quality assurance; Health care
The aim of this study was to present and compare the content of (inter)national clinical guidelines for the management of low back pain. To rationalise the management of low back pain, evidence-based clinical guidelines have been issued in many countries. Given that the available scientific evidence is the same, irrespective of the country, one would expect these guidelines to include more or less similar recommendations regarding diagnosis and treatment. We updated a previous review that included clinical guidelines published up to and including the year 2000. Guidelines were included that met the following criteria: the target group consisted mainly of primary health care professionals, and the guideline was published in English, German, Finnish, Spanish, Norwegian, or Dutch. Only one guideline per country was included: the one most recently published. This updated review includes national clinical guidelines from 13 countries and 2 international clinical guidelines from Europe published from 2000 until 2008. The content of the guidelines appeared to be quite similar regarding the diagnostic classification (diagnostic triage) and the use of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Consistent features for acute low back pain were the early and gradual activation of patients, the discouragement of prescribed bed rest and the recognition of psychosocial factors as risk factors for chronicity. For chronic low back pain, consistent features included supervised exercises, cognitive behavioural therapy and multidisciplinary treatment. However, there are some discrepancies for recommendations regarding spinal manipulation and drug treatment for acute and chronic low back pain. The comparison of international clinical guidelines for the management of low back pain showed that diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations are generally similar. There are also some differences which may be due to a lack of strong evidence regarding these topics or due to differences in local health care systems. The implementation of these clinical guidelines remains a challenge for clinical practice and research.
Low back pain; Clinical guidelines; Review; Diagnosis; Treatment
Maternity care providers, particularly midwives, have a window of opportunity to influence pregnant women about positive health choices. This aim of this paper is to identify evidence of effective public health interventions from good quality systematic reviews that could be conducted by midwives.
Relevant databases including MEDLINE, Pubmed, EBSCO, CRD, MIDIRS, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library and Econlit were searched to identify systematic reviews in October 2010. Quality assessment of all reviews was conducted.
Thirty-six good quality systematic reviews were identified which reported on effective interventions. The reviews were conducted on a diverse range of interventions across the reproductive continuum and were categorised under: screening; supplementation; support; education; mental health; birthing environment; clinical care in labour and breast feeding. The scope and strength of the review findings are discussed in relation to current practice. A logic model was developed to provide an overarching framework of midwifery public health roles to inform research policy and practice.
This review provides a broad scope of high quality systematic review evidence and definitively highlights the challenge of knowledge transfer from research into practice. The review also identified gaps in knowledge around the impact of core midwifery practice on public health outcomes and the value of this contribution. This review provides evidence for researchers and funders as to the gaps in current knowledge and should be used to inform the strategic direction of the role of midwifery in public health in policy and practice.
Systematic review; Public health; Midwife; Pregnancy
Electronic guideline-based decision support systems have been suggested to successfully deliver the knowledge embedded in clinical practice guidelines. A number of studies have already shown positive findings for decision support systems such as drug-dosing systems and computer-generated reminder systems for preventive care services.
A systematic literature search (1990 to December 2008) of the English literature indexed in the Medline database, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CRD (DARE, HTA and NHS EED databases) was conducted to identify evaluation studies of electronic multi-step guideline implementation systems in ambulatory care settings. Important inclusion criterions were the multidimensionality of the guideline (the guideline needed to consist of several aspects or steps) and real-time interaction with the system during consultation. Clinical decision support systems such as one-time reminders for preventive care for which positive findings were shown in earlier reviews were excluded. Two comparisons were considered: electronic multidimensional guidelines versus usual care (comparison one) and electronic multidimensional guidelines versus other guideline implementation methods (comparison two).
Twenty-seven publications were selected for analysis in this systematic review. Most designs were cluster randomized controlled trials investigating process outcomes more than patient outcomes. With success defined as at least 50% of the outcome variables being significant, none of the studies were successful in improving patient outcomes. Only seven of seventeen studies that investigated process outcomes showed improvements in process of care variables compared with the usual care group (comparison one). No incremental effect of the electronic implementation over the distribution of paper versions of the guideline was found, neither for the patient outcomes nor for the process outcomes (comparison two).
There is little evidence at the moment for the effectiveness of an increasingly used and commercialised instrument such as electronic multidimensional guidelines. After more than a decade of development of numerous electronic systems, research on the most effective implementation strategy for this kind of guideline-based decision support systems is still lacking. This conclusion implies a considerable risk towards inappropriate investments in ineffective implementation interventions and in suboptimal care.
Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care (pebc) was formalized in 1997 to produce clinical practice guidelines for cancer management for the Province of Ontario. At the time, the gap between guideline development and implementation was beginning to be acknowledged. The Program implemented strategies to promote use of guidelines.
The program had to overcome numerous social challenges to survive.
Prospective strategies useful to practitioners—including participation, transparent communication, a methodological vision, and methodology skills development offerings—were used to create a culture of research-informed oncology practice within a broad community of practitioners.
Reactive strategies ensured the survival of the program in the early years, when some within the influential academic community and among decision-makers were skeptical about the feasibility of a rigorous methodologic approach meeting the fast turnaround times necessary for policy.
The paper details the pebc strategies within the context of what was known about knowledge translation (kt) at the time, and it tries to identify key success factors.
Many of the barriers faced in the implementation of kt—and the strategies for overcoming them—are unavailable in the public domain because the relevant reporting does not fit the traditional paradigm for publication. Telling the “stories behind the story” should be encouraged to enhance the practice of kt beyond the science.
Knowledge translation challenges; cancer guidelines; Cancer Care Ontario
In March of 1994, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released guidelines mandating the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research. Four years later, the NIH released similar guidelines mandating the inclusion of children. These “inclusion guidelines” were created to increase the representation of women, minorities and children in clinical research to address potential harms (real and perceived) created by their exclusion or omission. As designated in the guidelines, Institutional Review Board (IRB), NIH Scientific Review Groups (SRG) and NIH program staff all have responsibility for the evaluation of Principal Investigator (PI) adherence to the inclusion guidelines. The purpose of this survey was to assess the experience with and attitudes of NIH Scientific Review Group (SRG) members with the implementation of these justice-based policy recommendations.
The results of the survey identify one clear measure of success regarding the implementation of the NIH guidelines; SRG members indicate the guidelines are in part responsible for their attention to the inclusion of women, minorities and children in clinical research. In addition, SRG members believe that gender and race are important factors when assessing the diversity of study samples and that the current NIH guidelines are adequate for encouraging their inclusion. As a proxy measure of success, SRG members believe that PIs responsible for protocols reviewed by their study group are generally compliant with the inclusion guidelines. Future research ought to explore whether IRB members and NIH program officers find PIs to be compliant as their projects get underway. In addition, more research ought to be conducted to assess the downstream effects of this important social policy.
NIH Inclusion Policy; Study Section Members; Attitudes and Opinions about Implementation
Background: The risk of occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens (including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV) via sharp injuries such as needle stick injuries (NSIs) among health care workers, especially dental, nursing and midwifery students is a challenging issue. Inadequate staff, lack of experience, insufficient training, duty overload and fatigue may lead to occupational sharp injuries. The aim of this prospective cross-sectional study was to evaluate the frequency of NSIs in Iranian dental, nursing, and midwifery students and their knowledge, attitude and practices regarding prevention of NSIs.
Methods: A questionnaire was provided to 264 dental and 435 nursing and midwifery students during their under graduate clinical training. 52% of dental students and 48% of nursing and midwifery students responded to the questionnaire. The questionnaire was pre-tested for reliability on 9.2% of the 55 sample population and found to have a high (r=0.812) test-retest reliability.
Results: 73% of students reported at least one NSI during the past year. Activities most frequently associated with injuries involved use of a hollow-bore needle during venous sampling or IV injection in both groups, followed by wound suturing in nursing and midwifery students and recapping in dental students. NSIs and non-reporting of NSIs were highly prevalent in these participants. The reason for not reporting injuries included not knowing the reporting mechanism or not knowing to whom to report.
Conclusion: Education about transmission of blood borne infections, standard precaution and increasing availability of protective strategies must be enforced. Furthermore, an optimization of the management for reporting is warranted.
needle stick injury; nursing students; midwifery students; blood borne viruses; dental students
To assess the extent and style of implementation of the Hypertension Guideline (HT Guideline) in Finnish primary health centres, and to identify a scale of contrasting implementation styles in the health centres (with the two ends of the scale being referred to as information implementers or disseminators respectively).
A cross-sectional study. Development of a questionnaire and criteria for assessing the extent and style of implementation of the HT Guideline.
All head physicians and senior nursing officers in Finnish health centres (n =290).
Main outcome measures
The extent of adoption of the HT Guideline in health centres and the characteristics associated with the implementation style.
Responses were received from 410 senior medical staff (246 senior nursing officers and 164 head physicians) representing altogether 264 health centres (91%) in Finland. The HT Guideline had been introduced into clinical practice in most health centres (89%). The style of implementation varied widely between health centres: at opposite ends of the implementation scale were 21 implementer health centres, which used multiple implementation channels, and 23 disseminator health centres, which used few or no implementation channels. The implementers had typically larger population bases and had organized services around the family doctor system, while the disseminators were smaller and had organized services according to a traditional model (appointments could be with any doctor in the surgery).
The Finnish HT Guideline has become well known in most health centres since being introduced into clinical practice. However, the style of implementation varies markedly between health centres.
Clinical practice guidelines; family practice; hypertension; implementation; primary health care
Clinical guidelines are considered important instruments to improve quality in health care. Since 1998 the Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy (KNGF) produced evidence-based clinical guidelines, based on a standardized program. New developments in the field of guideline research raised the need to evaluate and update the KNGF guideline program.
Purpose of this study is to compare different guideline development programs and review the KNGF guideline program for physical therapy in the Netherlands, in order to update the program.
Six international guideline development programs were selected, and the 23 criteria of the AGREE Instrument were used to evaluate the guideline programs. Information about the programs was retrieved from published handbooks of the organizations. Also, the Dutch program for guideline development in physical therapy was evaluated using the AGREE criteria. Further comparison the six guideline programs was carried out using the following elements of the guideline development processes: Structure and organization; Preparation and initiation; Development; Validation; Dissemination and implementation; Evaluation and update.
Compliance with the AGREE criteria of the guideline programs was high. Four programs addressed 22 AGREE criteria, and two programs addressed 20 AGREE criteria. The previous Dutch program for guideline development in physical therapy lacked in compliance with the AGREE criteria, meeting only 13 criteria.
Further comparison showed that all guideline programs perform systematic literature searches to identify the available evidence. Recommendations are formulated and graded, based on evidence and other relevant factors. It is not clear how decisions in the development process are made. In particular, the process of translating evidence into practice recommendations can be improved.
As a result of international developments and consensus, the described processes for developing clinical practice guidelines have much in common. The AGREE criteria are common basis for the development of guidelines, although it is not clear how final decisions are made. Detailed comparison of the different guideline programs was used for updating the Dutch program. As a result the updated KNGF program complied with 22 AGREE criteria. International discussion is continuing and will be used for further improvement of the program.
To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the integrated Practical Approach to Lung Health in South Africa (PALSA) guideline in identifying patients requiring bacteriological screening for tuberculosis (TB), and to determine which clinical features best predict suspected and bacteriologically-confirmed tuberculosis among patients with respiratory symptoms.
A prospective, cross-sectional study in which 1392 adult patients with cough and/or difficult breathing, attending a primary care facility in Cape Town, South Africa, were evaluated by a nurse using the guideline. The accuracy of a nurse using the guideline to identify TB suspects was compared to that of primary care physicians' diagnoses of (1) suspected TB, and (2) proven TB supported by clinical information and chest radiographs.
The nurse using the guideline identified 516 patients as TB suspects compared with 365 by the primary care physicians, representing a sensitivity of 76% (95% confidence interval (CI) 71%–79%), specificity of 77% (95% CI 74%–79%), positive predictive value of 53% (95% CI 49%–58%), negative predictive value of 90% (95% CI 88%–92%), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ARUC) of 0.76 (95% CI 0.74–0.79). Sputum results were obtained in 320 of the 365 primary care physicians TB suspects (88%); 40 (13%) of these were positive for TB. Only 4 cases were not identified by the nurse using the guideline. The primary care physicians diagnostic accuracy in diagnosing bacteriologically-confirmed TB (n = 320) was as follows: sensitivity 90% (95% CI 76%–97%), specificity 65% (95% CI 63%–68%), negative predictive value 7% (95% CI 5%–10%), positive predictive value 99.5% (95% CI 98.8%–99.8%), and ARUC 0.78 (95% CI 0.73–0.82). Weight loss, pleuritic pain, and night sweats were independently associated with the diagnosis of bacteriologically-confirmed tuberculosis (positive likelihood ratio if all three present = 16.7, 95% CI 5.9–29.4).
The PALSA guideline is an effective screening tool for identifying patients requiring bacteriological screening for pulmonary tuberculosis in this primary care setting. This supports the randomized trial finding that use of the guideline increased TB case detection.
Methods for the dissemination, understanding and implementation of clinical guidelines need to be examined for their effectiveness to help doctors integrate guidelines into practice. The objective of this randomised controlled trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive online Diabetes Needs Assessment Tool (DNAT) (which constructs an e-learning curriculum based on individually identified knowledge gaps), compared with self-directed e-learning of diabetes guidelines.
Health professionals were randomised to a 4-month learning period and either given access to diabetes learning modules alone (control group) or DNAT plus learning modules (intervention group). Participants completed knowledge tests before and after learning (primary outcome), and surveys to assess the acceptability of the learning and changes to clinical practice (secondary outcomes).
Sixty four percent (677/1054) of participants completed both knowledge tests. The proportion of nurses (5.4%) was too small for meaningful analysis so they were excluded. For the 650 doctors completing both tests, mean (SD) knowledge scores increased from 47.4% (12.6) to 66.8% (11.5) [intervention group (n = 321, 64%)] and 47.3% (12.9) to 67.8% (10.8) [control group (n = 329, 66%)], (ANCOVA p = 0.186). Both groups were satisfied with the usability and usefulness of the learning materials. Seventy seven percent (218/284) of the intervention group reported combining the DNAT with the recommended reading materials was "very useful"/"useful". The majority in both groups (184/287, 64.1% intervention group and 206/299, 68.9% control group) [95% CI for the difference (-2.8 to 12.4)] reported integrating the learning into their clinical practice.
Both groups experienced a similar and significant improvement in knowledge. The learning materials were acceptable and participants incorporated the acquired knowledge into practice.
Compared with the current focus on the development of clinical practice guidelines the effort devoted to their evaluation is meagre. Yet the ultimate success of guidelines depends on routine evaluation. Three types of evaluation are identified: evaluation of guidelines under development and before dissemination and implementation, evaluation of health care programs in which guidelines play a central role, and scientific evaluation, through studies that provide the scientific knowledge base for further evolution of guidelines. Identification of evaluation and program goals, evaluation design and a framework for evaluation planning are discussed.
Evidence-based guidelines are used in health care systems throughout the world to aid in treatment decisions and to ensure quality and consistency in patient care. In breast oncology, guidelines for care are published by several internationally recognized organizations, including those from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The present study compared clinical breast cancer guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (asco, United States), Cancer Care Ontario (cco, Canada), and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (nice, United Kingdom) to determine the quality and consistency of content across international organizations.
We searched for breast cancer guidelines published by asco, cco, and nice. Guidelines on the same theme were identified across organizations and appraised by 4 independent reviewers using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (agree) instrument. Content of each guideline was also scored for consistency in overall recommendations across organizations and for consistency in cited evidence.
The quality of breast cancer guidelines produced by the targeted organizations was consistently good in the areas of Scope and Purpose, Rigor of Development, and Clarity and Presentation, but variable in the domains of Stakeholder Involvement, Applicability, and Editorial Independence. The content of the guidelines varied slightly in the strength of their recommendations.
Our review demonstrated consistency in quality and content for breast cancer practice guidelines published by various organizations. Future guidelines developed by these organizations should focus on how to implement and measure uptake of a guideline.
Breast cancer; practice guidelines; agree instrument; quality of care
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.