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Evidence based guidelines or collectively constructed "mindlines?" - Ethnographic study of knowledge management in primary care

Gabbay, John and le May, Andrée (2004) Evidence based guidelines or collectively constructed "mindlines?" - Ethnographic study of knowledge management in primary care BMJ, 329, (7473), pp. 1013-1016. (doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7473.1013).

Record type: Article


Objective To explore in depth how primary care clinicians (general practitioners and practice nurses) derive their individual and collective healthcare decisions.
Design Ethnographic study using standard methods (non-participant observation, semistructured interviews. and documentary review) over two years to collect data, which were analysed thematically.
Setting Two general practices, one in the south of England and the other in the north of England.
Participants Nine doctors, three nurses, one phlebotomist, and associated medical staff in one practice provided the initial data; the emerging model was checked for transferability with general practitioners in the second practice.
Results Clinicians rarely accessed and used explicit evidence from research or other sources directly, but relied on "mindlines"-collectively reinforced, internalised, tacit guidelines. These were informed by brief reading but mainly by their own and their colleagues' experience, their interactions with each other and with opinion leaders, patients, and pharmaceutical representatives, and other Sources Of largely tacit knowledge. Mediated by organisational demands and constraints, mindlines were iteratively negotiated with a variety of key actors, often through a range of informal interactions in fluid "communities of practice," resulting in socially constructed "knowledge in practice."
Conclusions These findings highlight the potential advantage of exploiting existing formal and informal networking as a key to conveying evidence to clinicians

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More information

Published date: 30 October 2004
Keywords: midwifery, publishing, general-practice, observation, interviews, nursing, model, design, time, health, methods, knowledge management, London, thumb, research, care, rules, England, nurses, primary-care, patients, review, guidelines, practitioners


Local EPrints ID: 61787
ISSN: 0959-8138
PURE UUID: fc6e9c4c-abf5-4fe0-961f-63ca133aa123

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Sep 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:21

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