Background In 2003, the Dutch psoriasis guidelines were among the first evidence-based medicine guidelines in dermatology. Although pivotal, the implementation of dermatological guidelines has not been assessed.
Objectives To evaluate various aspects that affect implementation of clinical guidelines such as knowledge, attitudes and practices among dermatologists.
Methods A cross-sectional anonymous postal survey was conducted among all Dutch dermatologists. In addition to questions about knowledge and practices, 24 items assessed guidelines attitudes. Factor analysis was applied to merge these items into attitudinal scales and multiple linear regression was used to identify predictors for these scales.
Results Of the 353 dermatologists, 161 (46%) completed the questionnaire. Almost all respondents were aware of the guidelines and 60% reported to have a decent knowledge of their content. Factor analysis retained 22 items divided into three scales: usefulness and content, barriers, and reliability. Apart from some disagreement on the user-friendliness and communication facilitating properties, the dermatologists’ attitudes were generally positive. A larger volume of patients with psoriasis was associated with more frequent use of the guidelines [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2·42; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·02–5·72]. Good familiarity predicted a more positive attitude towards the guidelines’ usefulness and content (P < 0·001), perceived barriers (P < 0·001), and more frequent use in practice (adjusted OR = 8·38; 95% CI 3·08–22·81).
Conclusions Dutch dermatologists seem to know and appreciate their psoriasis guidelines and use them more often when they have a larger psoriasis population. Enhancing the familiarity of the guidelines among users may result in a more positive attitude towards them and a higher frequency of use.