Background Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are proposals for clinicians about the care of patients and are usually described as ‘systematically developed statements to assist practitioners and patients’ decisions about appropriate health care for specific circumstances’.
Aims The aim of this study was to investigate the paediatricians’ perceptions towards clinical practice guidelines at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in Qatar.
Method A cross-sectional study was conducted at HMC between May and August 2013 using a validated self-administered questionnaire that was distributed to 240 paediatricians.
Results A total of 169 questionnaires were completed (response rate 70.4%). Our main finding was that paediatricians at all levels are familiar with CPGs and use them. In addition, our doctors believe that CPGs lead to good quality of care, are practical, provide standardised patient care, will keep them up to date, decrease the rate of litigation, are evidence based, do not restrict continuity of self-education, do not alter physician esteem, lead to improvement of outcome, and are practical. However, the perceived barriers are that they affect clinical judgment, don’t match with paediatricians’ practice style, and that they don’t reduce healthcare cost.
Conclusions Paediatricians at HMC have positive practice and perception towards CPGs. The results of our study suggest that CPGs are likely to be implemented if more counselling and education are provided to paediatricians regarding the usefulness of evidence based guidelines. In addition a program should be initialized to remove barriers, while simultaneously addressing physicians’ concerns.