Treatment of diabetes mellitus--physicians' adherence to clinical guidelines in Norway

Scand J Prim Health Care. 1997 Dec;15(4):193-7. doi: 10.3109/02813439709035027.


Objective: To assess general practitioners' current adherence to the Norwegian clinical guidelines for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Design: Descriptive, retrospective registration of information from patient records of one year; 7 November 1993 to 7 November 1994. In addition, mailed questionnaire to examine the representativeness of the participating doctors.

Setting: General practice in Sør- and Nord-Trøndelag counties in Norway, 380,000 inhabitants.

Participants: In one year 1119 patients were registered with the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in the records of 56 general practitioners. The patients were 53% women and 47% men; 51% were 70 years or older.

Main outcome measures: Levels of HbA1c and blood pressure in accordance with the recommendations of the Norwegian clinical guidelines for diabetes mellitus. Fractions of patients with a measured HbA1c, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol in one year.

Results: At least one HbA1c was recorded in 77% of the diabetic patients during the specified year. In patients under 70 years of age, 56% had HbA1c above the recommended treatment level of 7.5%. In patients 70 years of age or older, 36% were above the recommended limit of 8.5%. At least one blood pressure was recorded in 79% of the patients during the specified year. In patients under 70 years of age, 53% had a systolic blood pressure above the recommendations of 140 mmHg, and 22% had a diastolic blood pressure above the recommendations of 90 mmHg. Serum cholesterol was not recorded during the specified year in 75% of the patients.

Conclusion: There are still major discrepancies between current practice and the intentions laid down in the Norwegian clinical guidelines. A discussion of alternative methods for implementation and evaluation of the efficacy of clinical guidelines is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors


  • Blood Glucose