Translation and implementation of clinical guidelines into practice remains an ongoing challenge, says Professor Ian Yang, as evidenced by responses to a survey of users of the joint Lung Foundation Australia /TSANZ COPD-X guidelines.
The survey, presented by Prof Yang at the ERS Virtual Congress, found about half of the 296 registered COPD-X users who responded were familiar (38%) or very familiar (16%) with the COPD-X plan.
Respondents were mainly nurses (43%) and allied health professionals (27%). GPs represented 15% of the respondents and specialists comprised 9%. Most respondents (62%) said they treated patients with COPD on a daily basis.
The survey found a consistently high rate of satisfaction with the guidelines in terms of its impact and relevance.
For example, 91% of respondents said COPD-X was applicable to health professionals other than respiratory specialists and relevant to their practice.
Further, 89% of respondents reported that COPD-X improved their knowledge and understanding of COPD management and 85% agreed it supported the delivery of patient-centered care.
Most health professionals agreed COPD-X was relevant across hospital and primary/community care settings (85%) and applicable to geographically diverse healthcare settings (81%).
Reported barriers to using COPD-X included a format that was difficult to navigate, a preference for other guidelines, and lack of interest or time especially in primary care.
The investigators, led by Professor Ian Yang, concluded some effort to improve usability and uptake was warranted.
“Initial observations indicate improved promotion of COPD-X and further engagement with health professionals outside the registered COPD-X user group will be key,” they said.
Professor Yang, from the Prince Charles Hospital and University of Queensland, told the limbic there were many levels of engagement to address.
“The large number of responses from nurses and allied health professionals likely indicates the interest of these health professionals in COPD clinical guidelines, and the importance of their role in multidisciplinary care for people with COPD, including comprehensive non-pharmacological and pharmacological management.”
“We are continually implementing methods to improve engagement with primary care and tertiary care clinicians. Hence there are a range of Lung Foundation Australia COPD resources available: the two-page Stepwise Management of Stable COPD; Concise Guide – newly updated in April 2020, with practical clinical questions as the headings for each section- and the detailed COPD-X guidelines, which are fully searchable online,” he said.
He said systematic and phased implementation of guidelines was important.
“Implementation is key. Lung Foundation Australia will continue to improve accessibility to these resources, increase awareness, and enable education delivery on clinical diagnosis and management.”