Use and perceptions of clinical practice guidelines by internal medicine physicians

Am J Med Qual. May-Jun 2007;22(3):170-6. doi: 10.1177/1062860607300291.


The authors sought to explore the use and perceptions of clinical practice guidelines among internal medicine physicians. Through a Web-based survey, 201 board-certified internal medicine physicians rated their opinions on several statements using 7-point Likert scales. Most respondents (74.7%) felt that guidelines were suitable for at least half of their patients, although a failure to take comorbid conditions into account was a frequently cited barrier. For patients with cardiovascular disease, there was no difference between individual internists' perceptions of their own compliance with guidelines and their estimates of cardiologists' compliance (P = .14). A large majority of respondents (70.7%) believed that guideline committee member participation in industry-funded research introduces bias into guideline content (median [interquartile range], 5 [4-6]). Although most respondents felt that measuring physicians against guideline-based performance measures encourages evidence-based medicine (76.5%), opinions were split as to whether this practice distracts from patient care or compromises physician autonomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Benchmarking / standards
  • Cardiology / standards
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Data Collection
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / standards
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / standards*
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Physicians / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*