Local impact of the NHMRC early breast cancer guidelines: where to from here?

Jeanette E. Ward*, John Boyages, Leena Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine clinicians' recall of the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Clinical practice guidelines for the management of early breast cancer six months after publication, and their reactions to its content and potential dissemination and implementation strategies. Setting: Greater Western Region of Sydney, May 1996. Method: Self-administered survey of clinicians with an involvement or interest in the management of women with breast cancer. Results: Of the 69 respondents to the questionnaire (77% response rate), 20% did not recall ever seeing the guidelines. Although most agreed with the defined parameters of potential strengths of the guidelines, there was less agreement as to their medicolegal implications. The four treatment sections of the guidelines were the most highly rated, followed by the sections on communication skills and investigations. Education programs, including college-based programs, as well as endorsement of the guidelines by the learned colleges and respected colleagues, were rated highly as dissemination strategies, far outranking Internet availability. Local revision of the guidelines was considered important as an implementation strategy by three-quarters of respondents. Only 20% indicated that the guidelines had influenced clinical practice, although 46% agreed that they would improve outcomes for women with early breast cancer. Conclusions: The NHMRC early breast cancer guidelines have been relatively well received in the Greater Western Region of Sydney, although local activities within public institutions and private practice will be needed to achieve implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-365
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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