Barriers to effective implementation of guideline recommendations.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, and its prevention and treatment are important healthcare aims. Hypercholesterolemia is among the most important modifiable Rick factors for CVD, and numerous guidelines exist for the treatment of this condition. Nevertheless, despite the existence of well-established and safe pharmacologic therapy for lowering cholesterol and preventing CVD, surveys in the United States and Europe have revealed that many patients have elevated cholesterol levels. There is a clear gap between what is known about treating CVD and the implementation of that knowledge. A survey assessing patients' knowledge about CVD observed that many patients are unaware of the disease prevalence and have little knowledge about the main risk factors, including the importance of cholesterol. Another survey demonstrated that many physicians overestimate patients' awareness of CVD and that physicians also overestimate the extent to which guidelines are implemented in clinical practice. Guideline implementation may be improved by narrowing the discrepancies between what patients and physicians believe and the reality. Many physicians claim that lack of time hinders guideline implementation and improvement of patient education. Physicians also appear to lack the motivation to implement lipid-lowering interventions. A multifactorial approach to improving use of guidelines in clinical practice may improve the treatment and prevention of CVD.


  • Leif RW Erhardt
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Clinical Medicine
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • adherence, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36S-41S
JournalAm J Med
Volume118 Suppl 12A
Issue number12, Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch