Use of a time series design to test effectiveness of a theory-based intervention targeting adherence of health professionals to a clinical guideline

Hanbury, Andria; Wallace, Louise and Clark, Michael (2009). Use of a time series design to test effectiveness of a theory-based intervention targeting adherence of health professionals to a clinical guideline. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14(3) pp. 505–518.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1348/135910708X369558

Abstract

Objectives. The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a theory of planned behaviour intervention to increase adherence of community mental health professionals to a national suicide prevention guideline.

Design. Routinely collected audit adherence data from an intervention and control site were collected and analysed using time series analysis to test whether the intervention significantly increased adherence. The effects of a local and national event on adherence were also examined.

Method. A Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) questionnaire, developed from interview findings, was administered to the health professionals. Subjective norms were found to be the most significant predictor of intention to adhere to the guideline, and were targeted with an interactive educational intervention. Time series analysis applied to routinely collected audit adherence data was used to test intervention effectiveness.

Results. The TPB accounted for 58 of the variance in intention to adhere, with subjective norms the only significant predictor. The intervention did not significantly increase adherence; however, the national and local events were found to have significantly increased adherence.

Conclusions. The TPB was a useful framework for exploring barriers to adherence; however, this did not translate into an effective intervention. Future research should seek collaboration with local experts, and use this information in combination with the TPB, to develop interventions. Collaborative research with experts in pedagogy may also help to develop more effective interventions, particularly education-based interventions that require adult learning.

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