Facilitating Guideline Implementation in Primary Health Care Practices

Sanne Peters, André Bussières, Bart Depreitere, Stijn Vanholle, Julie Cristens, Mieke Vermandere, Aliki Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Many patients continue to receive suboptimal services, inappropriate, unsafe, and costly care. Underutilization of research by health professionals is a common problem in the primary care setting. Although many theoretical frameworks can be used to help address such evidence-practice gaps, health care professionals may not be aware of the benefits of frameworks or of the most appropriate ones for their context and thus, may be faced with the challenge of selecting and using the most relevant one. Aim: The aim of this article was to describe the process used to adapt a knowledge translation framework to meet the local needs of health professionals working in one large primary care setting. Methods: The authors developed a 5-step approach for guideline implementation. This approach was informed by prior research and the authors’ experiences in supporting multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals during the implementation of evidence-based clinical guidelines into primary care practices. To ensure that the 5-step approach was practical and suitable for the context of guideline implementation by multidisciplinary teams in primary health care, the implementation team adapted the “knowledge-to-action” framework using a multistep process. Results: The implementation approach consisted of the following 5 steps: identification, context analysis, development of implementation plan, evaluation, and sustainability. All 5 steps were described alongside details about a national low back pain project. Discussion: This article describes a collaborative, grassroots process that addressed an identified need in one complex context by adapting a knowledge translation framework to meet the local needs of health professionals working in primary care settings. Existing implementation frameworks may be too complex or abstract for use in busy clinical contexts. The 5-step approach presented in this paper resulted in practical steps that are more readily understood by health care professionals and staff on “the ground”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical practice guideline
  • evidence-based practice
  • implementation
  • knowledge translation
  • quality improvement

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