Objective To estimate the short term effect of the publication of a major clinical trial on clinical practise.
Design Questionnaire survey of clinical practise.
Population All maternity units in the UK.
Method A self-administered questionnaire completed by lead consultants on delivery suite of maternity units.
Main outcome measures Changes in antibiotic prescription.
Results Within six months of publication, approximately 50% of maternity units had changed their guidelines for the care of women with preterm prelabour rupture of the fetal membranes.
Conclusion Publication of a major clinical trial does impact on clinical practise but the impact is heterogeneous in terms of time and consistency.