Background: The development of practice guidelines should take into consideration the opinions of end users. The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has implemented several changes in its guideline development and dissemination process based on previous end-user input.
Methods: An anonymous electronic survey was conducted via e-mail solicitation in September 2011. Respondents were asked to submit their feedback on the 26 guidelines produced by our society using a 32-item questionnaire and to suggest topics for new guideline development and areas of improvement.
Results: Responses from the survey were received by 494 people, of whom 474 (96 %) were clinicians; 373 (75 %) were general, laparoscopic, or bariatric surgeons; and 324 (65 %) held leadership roles within their institution. Most respondents were 35-44 years old (36 %), male (83 %), and had been in practice for over 10 years (54 %). A total of 383 (81 %) had used our guidelines, and, of those, 96 % agreed with their content. Guideline quality was rated 4.34; value 4.27; and ease of access 3.97 on a five-point Likert scale. The most commonly referenced guideline in the survey regarded surgical treatment of reflux (67 %), followed by laparoscopy during pregnancy (51 %). The three most common reasons guidelines were accessed were to update knowledge (68 %), to maximize patient care through evidence-based treatment (51 %), and to obtain a critical literature review.
Conclusions: The majority of respondents indicated they greatly value and agree with our guidelines. These results indicate that recent efforts to improve our guidelines have succeeded.