Evidence-based clinical guidelines have attracted international interest as tools for improving the quality of health care. Attitudes toward these guidelines are of great importance because attitudes are proven to be important predictors of guideline use. Attitudes are also believed to be shaped by perceptions of others, which makes the role of organizational implementation interventions interesting.
This article describes primary care nurses' attitudes toward guidelines among Finnish primary care nurses and the associations between attitudes, implementation interventions, and guideline use.
This study was a cross-sectional survey using postal questionnaires. Participants (N = 409) were primary care nurses working in outpatient services of primary health care centers in Finland. They were selected for the study from two groups of Finnish health centers representing contrasting implementation styles, for example, disseminator and implementer health centers (N = 32).
Responses were received from 327 nurses. In general, nurses' attitudes toward guidelines were positive, especially those concerning the reliability and usefulness of guidelines. The utilization of any implementation intervention included in the questionnaire was associated with more positive attitudes. In addition, nurses working in health centers that used an active implementation strategy as opposed to a disseminator strategy also felt that others in their organization rated the guidelines more positively and that guidelines were more easily available. Further, nurses who were familiar or very familiar with the guidelines had more positive attitudes toward them. Attitudes were also associated with self-reported guideline use.
The evidence-based guidelines were accepted as a reliable source of advice in patient care in Finnish primary care. It seems that implementation interventions improve attitudes toward guidelines and enhance guideline use. These interventions might also be important from another point of view; they presumably improve familiarity with guidelines, which was also associated with guideline use.
Hypertension is one of the major causes of disease burden affecting the Finnish population. Over the last decade, evidence-based care has emerged to complement other approaches to antihypertensive care, often without health economic assessment of its costs and effects. This study looks at the extent to which changes proposed by the 2002 Finnish evidence-based Current Care Guidelines concerning the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hypertension (the ACCG scenario) can be considered cost-effective when compared to modelled prior clinical practice (the PCP scenario).
A decision analytic model compares the ACCG and PCP scenarios using information synthesised from a set of national registers covering prescription drug reimbursements, morbidity, and mortality with data from two national surveys concerning health and functional capacity. Statistical methods are used to estimate model parameters from Finnish data. We model the potential impact of the different treatment strategies under the ACCG and PCP scenarios, such as lifestyle counselling and drug therapy, for subgroups stratified by age, gender, and blood pressure. The model provides estimates of the differences in major health-related outcomes in the form of life-years and costs as calculated from a 'public health care system' perspective. Cost-effectiveness analysis results are presented for subgroups and for the target population as a whole.
The impact of the use of the ACCG scenario in subgroups (aged 40-80) without concomitant cardiovascular and related diseases is mainly positive. Generally, costs and life-years decrease in unison in the lowest blood pressure group, while in the highest blood pressure group costs and life-years increase together and in the other groups the ACCG scenario is less expensive and produces more life-years. When the costs and effects for subgroups are combined using standard decision analytic aggregation methods, the ACCG scenario is cost-saving and more effective.
The ACCG scenario is likely to reduce costs and increase life-years compared to the PCP scenario in many subgroups. If the estimated trade-offs between the subgroups in terms of outcomes and costs are acceptable to decision-makers, then widespread implementation of the ACCG scenario is expected to reduce overall costs and be accompanied by positive outcomes overall.
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Evidence-based guidelines on hypertension have been developed in many western countries. Yet, there is little evidence of their impact on the clinical practices of primary care nurses.
We assessed the style of implementation and adoption of the national Hypertension Guideline (HT Guideline) in 32 Finnish health centres classified in a previous study as 'disseminators' (n = 13) or 'implementers' (n = 19). A postal questionnaire was sent to all nurses (n = 409) working in the outpatient services in these health centres. Additionally, senior nursing officers were telephoned to enquire if the implementation of the HT Guideline had led to a new division of labour between nurses and doctors.
Questionnaires were returned from 327 nurses (80.0%), while all senior nursing officers (n = 32) were contacted. The majority of nurses were of the opinion that the HT Guideline has been adopted into clinical practice. The recommendations in the HT Guideline were adopted in clinical practice with varying success, and slightly more often in implementer health centres than in disseminator health centres. Nurses in implementer health centres more often agreed that multiple channels had been used in the implementation (P
Implementation research examines and promotes the uptake of research findings in various operational environments. The concepts of implementation research in Finnish are not yet established. In support of the research field we describe the Finnish equivalents of the central terms related to knowledge translation in healthcare and the frame of reference of Implementation research, with the national Current Care Guidelines as the starting point. The frame of reference is based on literature, experiences of the authors, iterative modification of the frame of reference on the basis of discussions, and results of expert inquiry. The frame of reference describes seven objects of evaluation, examples of research set-ups and methods as well as tools.
To describe the adoption of the national Hypertension Guideline in primary care and to evaluate the consistency of the views of the health centre senior executives on the guideline's impact on clinical practices in the treatment of hypertension in their health centres.
A cross-sectional telephone survey.
All municipal health centres in Finland.
Health centres where both the head physician and the senior nursing officer responded.
Agreement in views of the senior executives on the adoption of clinical practices as recommended in the Hypertension Guideline.
Data were available from 143 health centres in Finland (49%). The views of head physicians and senior nursing officers on the adoption of the Hypertension Guideline were not consistent. Head physicians more often than senior nursing officers (44% vs. 29%, p
Cites: Scand J Prim Health Care. 2007 Dec;25(4):232-617852969