Use of Urology-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in International Settings
Objective Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) serve as frameworks to unify diagnostic criteria and guide clinical decision-making. There is a paucity of literature surrounding the uptake of CPGs in urology practice settings with varied levels of resources worldwide. This study aims to evaluate reported use of CPGs within the context of international urology practice, identify local barriers to uptake, and evaluate the role of stakeholders in the CPG-development process.
Methods This was an international, multi-center, cross-sectional study. An online survey collecting variables pertaining to the use of CPGs was distributed to attending/consultant urologists in Latin America, Africa, and China. Statistical analysis was conducted using R software.
Results A total of 249 practicing urologists from 28 countries completed the survey. The majority of participants were males, aged 36 to 45, and practiced in a non-academic setting. Ninety-three percent of urologists used CPGs in their everyday clinical practice, and 43% believed CPGs were very important to medical decision-making. However, barriers such as the lack of adaptability or applicability of CPGs to local settings were mentioned by 29% and 24% of participants, respectively. Urologists believed scientific associations (81%), national urology boards (68%), and ministries of health (56%), were important stakeholders to consult to foster the development of local CPGs.
Conclusions Globally, CPGs are widely used tools for clinical practice. However, there are concerns about the adaptability and applicability of CPGs to settings that may lack the resources to implement their recommendations. Efforts should be directed towards incorporating scientific and medical stakeholders into the review and adaptation of urology CPGs to suit the unique features of local health care systems.
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