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Soc Sci Med. 1997 Apr;44(8):1221-8.

Practice-knowledge-attitudes-practice: an explorative study of information in primary care.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Contemporary information programmes for health staff fail to give thorough consideration to the influence of situational factors on information transfer within health institutions. To study information transfer in Swedish primary care health centres, we have therefore used the participant observation method, to explore the influences of practice on knowledge and attitude formation, in turn giving rise to new practice. Management of hyperlipidaemia was used as an example. Our study suggests that the practice generates new information, which is added to or counteracts the acquisition and use of already existing information and is subsequently used in practice. Ongoing discussions between staff members give an opportunity to share practice experiences. Profession, professional hierarchy and gender are some of the factors influencing the use of information in this context. To improve the effectiveness of information programmes these factors and the professional roles of the health staff should be taken into consideration.

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