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Surgery. 2011 Jul;150(1):68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2011.02.010. Epub 2011 May 18.

Can a tailored knowledge translation strategy improve short term outcomes? A pilot study to increase compliance with bowel preparation recommendations in general surgery.

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Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.



Previous studies have shown that practices supported by level I evidence may take up to 20 years before they are adopted. Although mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) has been a routine practice in colorectal surgery, there is strong evidence dating back to the early 1990s suggesting that in most patients MBP before elective colorectal surgery is not required. The objective of this study was to determine if surgical practices pertaining to bowel preparation could be altered using a tailored knowledge translation strategy.


A multi-faceted strategy including guideline development, consensus, education by opinion leaders, audit and feedback, and reminder cards was used in this before-after study. The primary outcome was compliance with the recommendations presented in the guideline regarding MBP, normal diet on the day prior to surgery, and enemas.


Two-hundred eighty-two patients were enrolled in the study with 111 enrolled before the intervention and 171 enrolled after the intervention. Demographic and clinical characteristics between the 2 groups were similar. Overall, there was a 7.8% increase in compliance with MBP recommendations (81.1% vs 88.4%, P = .038), a 10.2% increase in compliance with diet recommendations (45.6% vs 55.8%, P = .080), and a 5.6% increase in compliance with enema recommendations (88.5% vs 94.2%, P < .001).


The results of this study reveal that a tailored, multi-faceted knowledge translation strategy is effective in changing surgeon behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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