Aims: Increasing focus on
improvement and optimisation of the treatment in primary care and reduction of
healthcare costs emphasize the need to understand which factors determines
adherence and non-adherence to clinical guidelines. In the present study, we
examined attitudes towards clinical guidelines in Danish general
practitioners (GPs). Methods: We conducted a survey among Danish GPs from all
five regions of Denmark. In total, 443 GPs answered the web-based questionnaire
that contained questions about attitudes and barriers to clinical guidelines. Results:
More than 90% of the GPs reported that they have good knowledge of the
guidelines and in general follows the guidelines. A majority of the GPs (81%)
found it acceptable that economic considerations are part of the guidelines.
The most important factors for non- adherence to guidelines were “need of
adjustment to clinical practice” and “lack of confidence in guidelines”.
The attitudes to clinical guidelines were not significantly associated with
practice characteristics such as gender, years of experience, practice
organisation and localisation. Conclusions: Our findings show that clinical
guidelines are an integrated or internalised part of everyday practice among
GPs in Denmark. Furthermore, the findings indicate that Danish GPs are positive
towards applying priority setting in their practice. This is decisive in the
light of rising healthcare costs due to development of new expensive
technologies and ageing populations that puts pressure on the healthcare system
in general and primary healthcare in particular.