Practitioner feedback (PF) surveys are sent to practitioners who care for lung cancer patients as each new practice guideline is completed. In this study, the PF was reviewed to assess the frequency of response to the surveys, the respondents' characteristics, the nature of the feedback, and the intention to adopt the guideline in practice.
Fourteen practice guidelines (PGs) were sent to Ontario practitioners treating lung cancer, and feedback on the PGs was obtained through either an eight- or 21-item survey.
Between 1995 and 2002, 1198 surveys were sent to 223 practitioners. The overall response rate was 58.9% but varied by specialty (radiation and medical oncologists, 67%; thoracic surgeons, 46%; respirologists, 38%), by location of practice (cancer center, 65%; community-based practice, 55%), by geographic region of the province (highest, 72%; lowest, 42%), and by PG topic (chemotherapy, 60%; radiotherapy, 63%; combined modality therapy, 52%). The response rate to the PF surveys did not decline over time. Eighty-six percent of respondents agreed with the lung cancer guidelines and indicated that they were likely or very likely to use the PGs in their practice.
The results suggest that practitioners view the guideline development process as credible and useful to guide practice. Whether the stated intention to use the guidelines will actually translate into practice requires further study.