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Translating evidence into practice in primary care management of adolescents and women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a mixed-methods study.

Family Practice 2024 March 5
BACKGROUND: The international guideline on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) provides evidence-based recommendations on the management of PCOS. Guideline implementation tools (GItools) were developed for general practitioner (GP) use to aid rapid translation of guidelines into practice. This mixed-methods study aimed to evaluate barriers and enablers of the uptake of PCOS GItools in general practice.

DESIGN AND SETTING: A cross-sectional survey was distributed through professional networks and social media to GPs and GPs in training in Australia. Survey respondents were invited to contribute to semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative data were thematically analysed and mapped deductively to the Theoretical Domains Framework and Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour model.

RESULTS: The study engaged 146 GPs through surveys, supplemented by interviews with 14 participants. A key enabler to capability was reflective practice. Barriers relating to opportunity included limited awareness and difficulty locating and using GItools due to length and lack of integration into practice software, while enablers included ensuring recommendations were relevant to GP scope of practice. Enablers relevant to motivation included co-use with patients, and evidence of improved outcomes with the use of GItools.

DISCUSSION: This study highlights inherent barriers within the Australian healthcare system that hinder GPs from integrating evidence for PCOS. Findings will underpin behaviour change interventions to assist GPs in effectively utilising guidelines in clinical practice, therefore minimising variations in care. While our findings will have a direct influence on guideline translation initiatives, changes at organisational and policy levels are also needed to address identified barriers.

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