Assessment of guideline adherence and quality of care with routine outcome monitoring data
background Treatment guidelines are widely used nowadays but it is not really clear whether or to what extent patients in routine care benefit from these guidelines.
aim To achieve a twofold objective: to measure in a routine clinical setting, the overall level of adherence to clinical guidelines by using a set of process indicators that are independent of the disorder under study, and to measure the clinical and psychosocial correlates of adherence among outpatients suffering from mood, anxiety and somatoform disorders.
method We developed a set of quality indicators and tested the set over a period of three years in a randomly selected sample of 300 outpatients who were about to receive treatment for a mood, anxiety and somatoform disorder. We used routine outcome monitoring (rom) data to determine risk factors for non-adherence and to identify patients whose treatment outcomes were likely poor.
results A high percentage of indicators were positive, indicating that many elements of treatment in this routine clinical practice had been carried out according to the guidelines. We observed that the combined treatment group showed significantly lower adherence than the two other treatment groups. Low-adherence was predicted independently by a low score on the vitality subscale of the SF-36. No significant differences relating to the degree of adherence were found in socio-demographic variables, comorbidity and the scores on the bsi subscales. Predictor indicators for poor treatment outcome included higher age, a comorbid axis I diagnosis, a number of dysfunctional personality traits and a (reported) poor general health status.
conclusion It is possible to assess guideline adherence by means of our set of process indicators that were independent of all type of disorder involved. Most factors hampering adherence could be identified. An understanding of the factors that affect treatment adherence to treatment guidelines may help to prevent non-adherence and can contribute to both the quality and the cost-effectiveness of care.