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Responses of primary health care professionals to UK national guidelines on the management and referral of women with breast conditions

Edwards, Adrian G., Matthews, S. J., Granier, S., Wilkinson, C., Robling, Michael Richard, Austoker, J., Pill, R. M., Stott, N. C. H. and Thapar, Ajay Kumar 2002. Responses of primary health care professionals to UK national guidelines on the management and referral of women with breast conditions. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 8 (3) , pp. 319-325. 10.1046/j.1365-2753.2002.00335.x

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Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives To explore the responses of primary health care professionals to guidelines in general, and to the UK national guidelines on the management and referral of women with breast conditions in particular. Methods Qualitative study using practice-based, semistructured group discussions with primary health care professionals. All practices were involved in a study evaluating the effect of the national breast symptom management guidelines on clinical practice. Discussion groups were conducted in the practice; fifteen of the 34 study practices were audio-taped. Groups comprised the available partners and practice nurses at each practice. All members of each group were well known to one another. There was good attendance by all doctors, with 75% of male partners and 90% of female partners present at the meetings. Of the practice nurses 51% attended. In all, 86 professionals attended the meetings. Results A number of areas for comment arose consistently in each discussion. Guidelines in general were welcomed, although there was more support for evidence-based than consensus-based guidelines. The breast lump guideline was also welcomed, participants commenting that it was concordant with current practice. The breast pain guideline was more contentious, participants reflecting that it recommended more primary care management than was usual, and fell outside the experience and confidence of doctors or the expectations of patients. Participants felt it did not incorporate psychosocial factors into recommended management, despite this being an important part of primary care management. Conclusions There are concerns about consensus guidelines and doubts about the applicability of the breast pain guideline in this complex management area. The failure of these guidelines to address patient anxiety may limit their implementation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: breast problems; primary care; qualitative research; referral guidelines
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1356-1294
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:54
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/64153

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