Increasing Physician Involvement in Cholesterol-Lowering Practices: The Role of Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions

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The study evaluated a multifaceted educational intervention systematically designed to increase physician involvement in cholesterol-lowering practices. We hypothesized that knowledge, perceptions and behaviours would be enhanced in participating physicians, compared with controls. Method: Fifty-one family physicians were assigned randomly to three groups; the two experimental groups attended a training workshop, received physician and patient education materials and ongoing consultant support. One experimental group also received a “cuing” intervention. The control group received no interventions. Outcome measures included knowledge and attitude scores, self-efficacy perceptions, and physician dietary counselling behaviour. Measures were taken at pretest, 6 weeks and 15 months later. Results: Intervention group physicians achieved significantly higher knowledge scores than the control group at the six-week test; the differences disappeared at 15 months. Attitudes, self-reported practices and overall self-efficacy scores were similar across groups. Within group variation was highly significant. Physician dietary counselling scores were significantly higher in the intervention groups (p = 0.0001). Some associations were seen among knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy and dietary counselling scores. Conclusion: Physician behaviour change in cholesterol reduction may not depend entirely upon knowledge, attitudes and perceptions.



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