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HMO Pract. 1997 Sep;11(3):111-7.

Attitudes about clinical practice guidelines in a mixed model HMO: the influence of physician and organizational characteristics.

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  • 1Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



This study assesses physician attitudes toward clinical practice guidelines, in an organization where guidelines have long been incorporated into the clinical practice. Attitudes toward institutional guidelines and guidelines in general are explored, and are compared to a published study describing attitudes among a sample of American College of Physician (ACP) members.


Descriptive study.


A large, mixed model HMO.


Two hundred and three internists and family practice physicians.


Attitudes toward perceived compliance with clinical practice guidelines were assessed. Summary measures of attitudes and anticipated impact of guidelines were created.


Overall, attitudes toward practice guidelines among HMO physicians were very positive. Differences were observed by gender, practice model, years in practice and residency training. HMO physicians on average held more favorable attitudes toward guidelines compared with published results of an ACP survey. While HMO physicians in independent group practices viewed the concept of guidelines less favorably than staff model physicians, they were more likely to view the impact of guidelines positively than were the ACP physicians.


Exposure to practice guidelines in the context of clinical practice can lead to positive attitudes about those guidelines. While resentment toward a system which relies on practice supports such as guidelines may remain among some physicians, this need not be inconsistent with an appreciation of the potential value of guidelines for improving clinical quality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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