Guidelines do help change behavior in the management of osteoporosis by gastroenterologists

Sunanda Kane, Deepa Reddy
American Journal of Gastroenterology 2006, 101 (8): 1841-4

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The American College of Gastroenterology supported the development of evidence-based guidelines for the management of osteoporosis in inflammatory bowel disease. Our aim was to determine the short-term impact of the guidelines on practice patterns.

METHODS: Two hundred clinicians were surveyed prior to and 3 and 6 months after the guidelines were disseminated. The number of bone density scans ordered by these physicians was also determined before and 3 and 6 months after guidelines were distributed.

RESULTS: At the end of 3 months, only 20% of subjects admitted to having read the guidelines. There was a significant number of subjects who felt more comfortable treating osteoporosis (20%vs 10% prior to dissemination of the guidelines [p</= 0.05]). There was a 150% increase in the number of bone density scans ordered during that time by these 40 practitioners. After 6 months, another 15% for a total of 35% of subjects had read the guidelines. The number of subjects who were comfortable treating osteoporosis increased to 25% from 10% (p < 0.001). The number of bone density scans increased by 100% in these practices.

CONCLUSIONS: Although a minority of subjects read the guidelines, there was a significant impact on the short-term practice patterns of these practitioners.

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