Journal 11, November 2011pages: 657-662
Objective: To evaluate the extent to which physicians "literally" follow guidelines for secondary prevention of dyslipidemia and the extent to which they practice "substitute" therapeutic measures.
Methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of data collected in a prospective cluster randomized trial. The participants were 130 primary care physicians treating 7745 patients requiring secondary prevention of dyslipidemia. The outcome measure was physician "literal" adherence or "substitute" adherence. We used logistic regressions to evaluate the effect of various clinical situations on “literal” and “substitute” adherence.
Conclusions: Physicians often do not blindly follow guidelines, but rather evaluate their adequacy for a particular patient and adjust the treatment according to their assessment. We suggest that clinical management be evaluated in a broader sense than strict guideline adherence, which may underestimate physicians' efforts.