The use and perceived value of diabetes clinical management guidelines in general practice
OBJECTIVE: To assess attitudes to and use of NSW Health Department (NSWHD) guidelines for the clinical management of diabetes mellitus by divisions of general practice, general practitioners, patients and allied health professionals.
METHOD: A mail cross sectional survey of divisions of general practice and a series of focus groups of GPs, patients and allied health professionals, on extent of use and perceived usefulness of the NSWHD guidelines.
RESULTS: Forty divisions had or recently concluded a diabetes shared care project. Thirteen out of the 31 diabetes projects with guidelines reported using the NSWHD guidelines. Nineteen divisions were aware of the NSWHD guidelines. While the general response to the guidelines in both the survey and the focus groups was positive, there were suggestions for modifications. Many respondents were not aware of the guidelines.
CONCLUSION: Optimal use of the guidelines in general practice requires improved dissemination and an implementation strategy based not only on GP education but also systems to reduce barriers to implementation and to support better quality of GP care.