The impact of reading on physicians' nonadherence to recommended standards of medical care

Journal Name: 
Soc Sci Med
In order to increase physicians' adherence to recommended standards of medical care and to examine factors presumed to contribute to such changes, we conducted a randomized, controlled trial using reading materials targeted to specific practice recommendations. Seventy-nine internal medicine residents completed baseline questionnaires stating their intentions to follow 13 common preventive care actions. They were randomly assigned to receive one of two different sets of readings covering these care actions. Thus, each physician was in the experimental group for one set of readings (A or B) while serving as a control for the other set. The impact of the reading was determined by: the physicians' knowledge of the recommended care actions detailed in the combined readings, their post-reading intentions, and clinical behavior when faced with patients having indications for the recommended actions. The 73 residents (92%) who read the material judged 39% of the information to be new and 72% useful. Residents had significantly better performance on the knowledge questions based on their own readings than did their control group peers for both sets of readings. For the Group A physicians, reading significantly (P less than 0.05) increased intentions to follow one of the seven clinical actions while Group B residents increased their intentions in three out of six. Step-wise multiple regression analyses were used to predict physicians' post-reading adherence to the recommended actions. For the Group A actions, pre-reading actions accounted for most of the variance in their post-reading actions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
250, 360, adherence, better, clinical, Clinical Competence: standards, Comparative Study, Education,Medical,Continuing, factors, Human, Indiana, information, Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine: education, Internship and Residency, knowledge, medical, Medicine, patient, Patients, Physicians, Physicians: psychology, Preventive Medicine: standards, Primary Health Care: standards, Questionnaires, Random Allocation, Reading, regression, Regression Analysis, resident, residents, ResNet, Standards, Support,U.S.Gov't,P.H.S.