Organizational and managerial factors associated with clinical practice guideline adherence: a simulation-based study in 36 French hospital wards.
BACKGROUND Factors facilitating use of clinical guidelines by physicians working in French public hospitals are unknown. We wanted to ascertain the desires of physicians and housestaff working in medical departments. METHODS A cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire with closed-ended questions and free comment was conducted in the two academic regional hospitals and the 20 district hospitals of Brittany. The following items were noted: individual and professional characteristics, use of and opinion about clinical guidelines, perceived usefulness of specific attributes of guidelines or implementation efforts. The results are shown separately for physicians and housestaff. The statistical significance of associations between physician characteristics and their opinions was tested by using the chi-square test. RESULTS 390 out of 783 responded (50%). Nine housestaff and eight physicians out of ten responders found more positive than negative points to guidelines (decision making tool, standardization of practices, versus rigidity, lack of freedom in practice). One out of three reported using them regularly. Guidelines focusing on general medicine, covering both diagnosis and treatment, developed at the national level with local adaptation, synthetic and pocket-sized guide-book given directly to the housestaff by the department's physicians, were more likely to be used. One physician out of two would use more guidelines from specialty organizations, or would use them as a self-training tool in practices evaluation. CONCLUSION Implementation of guidelines in hospital medical departments should take into account the housestaff demands as well as the need for the physicians' implication.