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Why are some evidence-based care recommendations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease better implemented than others? Perspectives of medical practitioners

Authors Johnston KN, Young M, Grimmer-Somers KA, Antic R, Frith PA

Published 6 December 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 659—667

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S26581

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Kylie N Johnston1, Mary Young2, Karen A Grimmer-Somers1, Ral Antic3, Peter A Frith4
1International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 2Transitional and Community Services, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 3Department of Thoracic Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; 4Respiratory, Allergy and Sleep Services, Repatriation General Hospital and Flinders University Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Background: Clinical guidelines for management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include recommendations based on high levels of evidence, but gaps exist in their implementation. The aim of this study was to examine the perspectives of medical practitioners regarding implementation of six high-evidence recommendations for the management of people with COPD.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with medical practitioners involved with care of COPD patients in hospital and general practice. Interviews sought medical practitioners' experience regarding implementation of smoking cessation, influenza vaccination, pulmonary rehabilitation, guideline-based medications, long-term oxygen therapy for hypoxemia and plan and advice for future exacerbations. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis.
Results: Nine hospital-based medical practitioners and seven general practitioners participated. Four major categories were identified which impacted on implementation of the target recommendations in the care of patients with COPD: (1) role clarity of the medical practitioner; (2) persuasive communication with the patient; (3) complexity of behavioral change required; (4) awareness and support available at multiple levels. For some recommendations, strength in all four categories provided significant enablers supporting implementation. However, with regard to pulmonary rehabilitation and plans and advice for future exacerbations, all identified categories that presented barriers to implementation.
Conclusion: This study of medical practitioner perspectives has indicated areas where significant barriers to the implementation of key evidence-based recommendations in COPD management persist. Developing strategies to target the identified categories provides an opportunity to achieve greater implementation of those high-evidence recommendations in the care of people with COPD.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, guideline implementation, barriers, enablers, medical practitioners, qualitative research

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