We aimed to survey clinicians' attitudes on using evidence-based guidelines. A postal questionnaire based on a previous survey of general practitioners was sent to 105 psychiatrists working within Avon and Western Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.
There was a 91% response rate. Respondents were generally in favour of clinical guidelines, with scores indicating a positive attitude to guidelines in 13 of the 18 statements. The majority felt that guidelines were effective in improving patient care, could be used flexibly to suit individual patients and did not impinge on their clinical judgement.
Psychiatrists welcomed the increasing use of guidelines. Further research is needed to determine whether this will translate into actual use and improved outcomes for patients.