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Am J Med Sci. 2014 Nov;348(5):357-61. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0000000000000269.

Does guideline knowledge affect treatment compliance among emergency doctors?

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacy (RAA, AHK, SAS, KK), School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia; and Department of Respiratory Medicine (IA), Penang General Hospital, Penang, Malaysia.



The insufficient adoption of internationally accepted clinical guidelines may lead to less than adequate patient care of patients with asthma.


To evaluate the knowledge and treatment compliance with Global Initiative of Asthma (GINA, 2011) asthma treatment guidelines among emergency physicians (EPs) at a referral hospital in northern Malaysia.


A cross-sectional study was designed in the territory-level referral hospital in northern Malaysia. Twenty-seven EPs were asked to complete an asthma guideline questionnaire to assess their knowledge regarding GINA 2011 asthma treatment guidelines. A total of 810 patients were enrolled, and 30 patients were selected per physician. The authors evaluated the physicians' compliance with GINA 2011 asthma treatment guidelines.


Of 27 EPs, 20 (74.1%) had adequate knowledge of GINA 2011 asthma treatment guidelines. A total of 615 (75.9%) patients received guideline-recommended emergency treatment. Shortness of breath (n = 436, 53.8%) was the most frequently reported chief complaint. Furthermore, there was a significant but weak association between knowledge of the guideline and treatment compliance among emergency doctors (P = 0.003, φ = 0.110). Moreover, there was no significant change in therapy for patients with comorbid conditions. The mean age of respondents was 27.3 years.


Overall, a fair level of guideline knowledge and treatment compliance was noted among EPs. Doctors with adequate guideline knowledge were more likely to comply with GINA 2011 asthma treatment guidelines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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