Clinical inertia: a common barrier to changing provider prescribing behavior.
ABSTRACT A cross-sectional content analysis nested within a randomized, controlled trial was conducted to collect information on provider responses to computer alerts regarding guideline recommendations for patients with suboptimal hypertension care.
Participants were providers who cared for 1,017 patients with uncontrolled hypertension on a single antihypertensive agent within Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. All reasons for action or inaction were sorted into a framework to explain the variation in guideline adaptation.
The 184 negative provider responses to computer alerts contained explanations for not changing patient treatment; 76 responses to the alerts were positive, that is, the provider was going to make a change in antihypertensive regimen. The negative responses were categorized as: inertia of practice (66%), lack of agreement with specific guidelines (5%), patient-based factors (17%), environmental factors (10%), and lack of knowledge (2%). Most of the 135 providers classified as inertia of practice indicated, "Continue current medications and I will discuss at the next visit." The median number of days until the next visit was 45 days (interquartile range, 29 to 78 days).
Clinical inertia was the primary reason for failing to engage in otherwise indicated treatment change in a subgroup of patients. A framework was provided as a taxonomy for classification of provider barriers.
SourceAvailable from: Jean Jacques N Noubiap[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians (PCPs) are the main providers of diabetes care especially in resource-limited countries which experience extreme shortage of specialists. The present study aimed to evaluate PCPs' approach towards diabetes mellitus (DM) diagnosis, evaluation and management in Cameroon. We carried-out a cross-sectional survey in February 2012 in the West Region of Cameroon. Using a structured pretested questionnaire, we interviewed all PCPs working in the region who were present at their working place when the investigators visited, and volunteered to be enrolled in the study. Sixty-six PCPs were interviewed. Their ages ranged from 24 to 56 years (mean 38.3, standard deviation 9.2 years). The levels of knowledge of PCPs regarding DM diagnosis were: 72.7%, 37.9%, 19.7% and 32.8% respectively obtained when using fasting plasma glucose, post-prandial glycemia, random glycemia and glycated hemoglobin as diagnostic tools. Only 6 PCPs (9.9%) prescribed the correct minimal work-up to evaluate diabetes patients at diagnosis. PCPs advised lifestyle modifications in 92.4% of cases, and thirty nine (53.1%) PCP's used to prescribe both generic and specialty oral anti-diabetic drugs in case of uncomplicated type 2 DM management. The two main classes of anti-diabetic drugs prescribed were biguanides (77.3%) and sulfonamides (60.6%). Nearly all PCPs (97%) used to give frequent follow-up appointments to their patients. Ninety eight point five percent of participants were willing to receive any further continuous training on DM management. PCPs knowledge and practices towards diabetes mellitus diagnosis, evaluation and management were not optimal, stressing the need to improve their capacities regarding diabetes care. As such, more educational initiatives should be taken on, alongside regular upgrade and dissemination of clinical guidelines.BMC Endocrine Disorders 04/2015; 15(1):18. DOI:10.1186/s12902-015-0016-3 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Drug therapy in primary care is a challenge for general practitioners (GPs) and the prescribing decision is influenced by several factors. GPs obtain drug information in different ways, from evidence-based sources, their own or others¿ experiences, or interactions with opinion makers, patients or colleagues. The need for objective drug information sources instead of drug industry-provided information has led to the establishment of local drug and therapeutic committees. They annually produce and implement local treatment guidelines in order to promote rational drug use. This study describes Swedish GPs¿ attitudes towards locally developed evidence-based treatment guidelines.Methods Three focus group interviews were performed with a total of 17 GPs working at both public and private primary health care centres in Skåne in southern Sweden. Transcripts were analysed by conventional content analysis. Codes, categories and themes were derived from data during the analysis.ResultsWe found two main themes: GP-related influencing factors and External influencing factors. The first theme emerged when we put together four main categories: Expectations and perceptions about existing local guidelines, Knowledge about evidence-based prescribing, Trust in development of guidelines, and Beliefs about adherence to guidelines. The second theme included the categories Patient-related aspects, Drug industry-related aspects, and Health economic aspects. The time-saving aspect, trust in evidence-based market-neutral guidelines and patient safety were described as key motivating factors for adherence. Patient safety was reported to be more important than adherence to guidelines or maintaining a good patient-doctor relationship. Cost containment was perceived both as a motivating factor and a barrier for adherence to guidelines. GPs expressed concerns about difficulties with adherence to guidelines when managing patients with drugs from other prescribers. GPs experienced a lack of time to self-inform and difficulties managing direct-to-consumer drug industry information.Conclusions Patient safety, trust in development of evidence-based recommendations, the patient-doctor encounter and cost containment were found to be key factors in GPs¿ prescribing. Future studies should explore the need for transparency in forming and implementing guidelines, which might potentially increase adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines in primary care.BMC Family Practice 12/2014; 15(1):199. DOI:10.1186/s12875-014-0199-0 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Therapeutic inertia has been defined as the failure of health-care provider to initiate or intensify therapy when therapeutic goals are not reached. It is regarded as a major cause of uncontrolled hypertension. The exploration of its causes and the interventions to reduce it are plagued by unclear conceptualizations and hypothesized mechanisms. We therefore systematically searched the literature for definitions and discussions on the concept of therapeutic inertia in hypertension in primary care, to try and form an operational definition. Methods A systematic review of all types of publications related to clinical inertia in hypertension was performed. Medline, EMbase, PsycInfo, the Cochrane library and databases, BDSP, CRD and NGC were searched from the start of their databases to June 2013. Articles were selected independently by two authors on the basis of their conceptual content, without other eligibility criteria or formal quality appraisal. Qualitative data were extracted independently by two teams of authors. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative qualitative method. Results The final selection included 89 articles. 112 codes were grouped in 4 categories: terms and definitions (semantics), “who” (physician, patient or system), “how and why” (mechanisms and reasons), and “appropriateness”. Regarding each of these categories, a number of contradictory assertions were found, most of them relying on little or no empirical data. Overall, the limits of what should be considered as inertia were not clear. A number of authors insisted that what was considered deleterious inertia might in fact be appropriate care, depending on the situation. Conclusions Our data analysis revealed a major lack of conceptualization of therapeutic inertia in hypertension and important discrepancies regarding its possible causes, mechanisms and outcomes. The concept should be split in two parts: appropriate inaction and inappropriate inertia. The development of consensual and operational definitions relying on empirical data and the exploration of the intimate mechanisms that underlie these behaviors are now needed.BMC Family Practice 07/2014; 15(1):130. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-15-130 · 1.74 Impact Factor