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Antivir Ther. 1996 Aug;1(3):157-66.

Heterogeneity of physician agreement with recommended therapeutic guidelines for the management of HIV-associated disease.

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  • 1British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, Canada.

Abstract

The aims of this study were to assess the degree of heterogeneity in the knowledge of therapeutic management of HIV infection among HIV-experienced physicians in British Columbia, Canada, and to identify associations between physician characteristics and their agreement with contemporary therapeutic guidelines. A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was mailed to 6500 physician members of the British Columbia Medical Association. The questionnaire provided information about demographic and personal characteristics, including sex, age, medical specialization and practice location; level of experience in treating HIV-infected patients; use of HIV testing procedures; use of preventative vaccinations and tests; and preferred approaches to antiretroviral therapy and the prophylaxis and acute treatment of opportunistic infections. We compared physicians' patterns of knowledge with contemporary recommendations. Logistic regression identified associations between physician characteristics and their agreement with contemporary guidelines. A total of 463 HIV-experienced physicians (a high proportion of the HIV-experienced physicians in British Columbia, Canada) responded to the questionnaire. The agreement with contemporary guidelines about HIV testing and preventative vaccinations and tests among responders ranged from 27% to 71%. For antiretroviral therapy, agreement with the guidelines ranged from 12% to 35%. For the prophylaxis and treatment of opportunistic infections, agreement with the guidelines ranged from 11% to 89% (prophylaxis) and from 46% to 91% (treatment). Regression analysis revealed that physicians actively involved in the care of HIV-infected patients were more likely to agree with the guidelines in all areas of patient care. General practitioners were more likely to agree with the guidelines regarding preventative therapies, and male general practitioners under 45 years old were more likely to agree with the guidelines on antiretroviral therapy. Our data confirm that there is substantial heterogeneity in the management of HIV-associated disease, including some deviations from contemporary guidelines. Concordance with contemporary guidelines increased with the physician's level of HIV-related experience. Our results support the idea that adherence to state-of-the-art practices may be responsible, at least in part, for the recently described association between physician experience and improved survival of HIV-infected individuals.

PMID:
11322249
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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