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A Study of Barriers and Facilitators of Clinical Practice Guidelines Implementation among Physicians

Author(s): Lamya Alnaim* and Saja Almazrou
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, King Saud University, College of Pharmacy, Riyadh-11451, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, King Saud University, College of Pharmacy, Riyadh-11451, Saudi Arabia, E-mail:

There is a gap in understanding the barriers and facilitators related to guideline implementation in Saudi Arabia. A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted to identify the factors that may act as barriers or facilitators of clinical practice guidelines used by physicians working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A survey was distributed to 215 physicians working at universities and government hospitals in Riyadh city. The survey was pilot-tested on a small group of physicians to improve the clarity and limit response bias. A total of 157 physicians completed the questionnaire. 88.5% of the physicians indicated that they did implement clinical practice guidelines in their practice while 9.6% declared that they did not implement any guidelines. Clinical practice guideline implementation was not affected by the physician role, years of experience or nationality. There were less female physicians that opted for clinical practice guidelines (P<0.5). Eighty four percent of the physicians chose them because they are evidence-based while only 40.1% incorporated them because it was part of their institutions’ regulation. There was a weak positive relation between the total scores of barriers and facilitators assessment tool and the nationality of the physician. The reasons for choosing specific guidelines were not determined by the physician role, years of experience, nationality or gender. Most agreed that clinical practice guidelines served as a good foundation for self-study and still provide space for them to come to their own conclusions, but at the same time, they would like to know more about them before they decide to apply it. The implementation of guidelines was obstructed by three barriers, which were lack of support by the leadership, lack of awareness and lack of knowledge. On the other hand, the ease of access and autonomy has driven the implementation of clinical practice guidelines. Nonetheless, the barriers and facilitators experienced by the physicians may differ depending on their ethnicity and gender.

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