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The literature demonstrates that medical residents and practicing physicians have an attitudinal-behavioral discordance concerning their positive attitudes towards clinical practice guidelines (CPG), and the implementation of these guidelines into clinical practice patterns.


A pilot study was performed to determine if change in a previously identified CPG compliance factor (accessibility) would produce a significant increase in family medicine resident knowledge and attitude toward the guidelines. The primary study intervention involved placing a summary of the Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VI) and the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (NCEP III) CPGs in all patient (>18 yr.) charts for a period of three months. The JNC VI and NCEP III CPGs were also distributed to each Wayne State family medicine resident, and a copy of each CPG was placed in the preceptor's area of the involved clinics. Identical pre- and post- intervention questionnaires were administered to all residents concerning CPG knowledge and attitude.


Post-intervention analysis failed to demonstrate a significant difference in CPG knowledge. A stastically significant post-intervention difference was found in only on attitude question. The barriers to CPG compliance were identified as 1) lack of CPG instruction; 2) lack of critical appraisal ability; 3) insufficient time; 4) lack of CPG accessibility; and 5) lack of faculty modeling.


This study demonstrated no significant post intervention changes in CPG knowledge, and only one question that reflected attitude change. Wider resident access to dedicated clinic time, increased faculty modeling, and the implementation of an electronic record/reminder system that uses a team-based approach are compliance factors that should be considered for further investigation. The interpretation of CPG non-compliance will benefit from a causal matrix focused on physician knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Recent findings in resident knowledge-behavior discordance may direct the future investigation of physician CPG non-compliance away from generalized barrier research, and toward the development of information that maximizes the sense of individual practitioner urgency and certainty.


Health Services Administration | Health Services Research