Determinants of clinical practice guidelines’ utilization for the management of musculoskeletal disorders: a scoping review

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Context: Many clinical practice guidelines have been developed for the management of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). However, there is a gap between evidence-based knowledge and clinical practice, and reasons are poorly understood. Understanding why healthcare providers use clinical practice guidelines is essential to improve their implementation, dissemination, and adherence. Aim: To identify determinants of clinical practice guidelines’ utilization by health care providers involved in the assessment and management of MSDs. Method: A scoping review of the literature was conducted. Three databases were searched from inception to March 2021. Article identification, study design, methodological quality, type of healthcare providers, MSDs, barriers and facilitators associated with guidelines’ utilization were extracted from selected articles. RESULTS: 8671 citations were retrieved, and 43 articles were selected. 51% of studies were from Europe, and most were quantitative studies (64%) following a cross-sectional design (88%). Almost 80% of articles dealt with low back pain guidelines, and the most studied healthcare providers were general practitioners or physiotherapists. Five main barriers to guideline utilization were expressed by providers: 1) disagreement between recommendations and patient expectations; 2) guidelines not specific to individual patients; 3) unfamiliarity with “non-specific” term, or with the bio psychosocial model of MSDs; 4) time consuming; and 5) heterogeneity in guideline methods. Four main facilitators to guideline utilization were cited: 1) clinician’s interest in evidence-based practice; 2) perception from clinicians that the guideline will improve triage, diagnosis and management; 3) time efficiency; and 4) standardized language. Conclusion: Identifying modifiable determinants is the first step in developing implementation strategies to improve guideline utilization in clinical practice.




Sorondo, D., Delpierre, C., Côté, P., Salmi, L. R., Cedraschi, C., Taylor-Vaisey, A., & Lemeunier, N. (2021). Determinants of clinical practice guidelines’ utilization for the management of musculoskeletal disorders: a scoping review. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 22(1).

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