Improving adherence to guidelines for the diagnosis and management of pelvic inflammatory disease: a systematic review

Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2012;2012:325108. doi: 10.1155/2012/325108. Epub 2012 Aug 29.


Background: Evidence suggests adherence to clinical guidelines for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) diagnosis and management is suboptimal. We systematically reviewed the literature for studies describing strategies to improve the adherence to PID clinical guidelines.

Methods: The databases MEDLINE and EMBASE, and reference lists of review articles were searched from January 2000 to April 2012. Only studies with a control group were included.

Results: An interrupted time-series study and two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included. The interrupted time-series found that following a multifaceted patient and practitioner intervention (practice protocol, provision of antibiotics on-site, written instructions for patients, and active followup), more patients received the recommended antibiotics and attended for followup. One RCT found a patient video on PID self-care did not improve medication compliance and followup. Another RCT found an abbreviated PID treatment guideline for health-practitioners improved their management of PID in hypothetical case scenarios but not their diagnosis of PID.

Conclusion: There is limited research on what strategies can improve practitioner and patient adherence to PID diagnosis and management guidelines. Interventions that make managing PID more convenient, such as summary guidelines and provision of treatment on-site, appear to lead to better adherence but further empirical evidence is necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / diagnosis*
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index