Use of clinical guidelines in remote Australia: A realist evaluation

Sandeep Reddy, Victoria Orpin, Sally Herring, Stephanie Mackie-Schneider, Janet Struber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: The aim of this evaluation was to assess the acceptability, accessibility, and compliance with the 2014 editions of the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals (RPHCM) in health care centres across remote areas of Northern and Central Australia. Method: To undertake a comprehensive evaluation that considered context, the evaluation used a realist evaluation framework. The evaluation used a variety of methods including interviews and survey to develop and test a programme theory. Results: Many remote health practitioners have adopted standardized, evidence-based practice because of the use of the RPHCM. The mechanisms that led to the use of the manuals include acceptance of the worth of the protocols to their clinical practice, reliance on manual content to guide their practice, the perception of credibility, the applicability of RPHCM content to the context, and a fear of the consequences of not using the RPHCMs. Some remote health practitioners are less inclined to use the RPHCM regularly because of a perception that the content is less suited to their needs and daily practice or it is hard to navigate or understand. Conclusion: The evaluation concluded that there is work to be done to widen the RPHCM user base, and organizations need to increase support for their staff to use the RPHCM protocols better. These measures are expected to enable standardized clinical practice in the remote context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)152-158
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
    Issue number1
    Early online date24 May 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


    • clinical guidelines
    • evidence-based medicine
    • realist evaluation
    • remote healthcare
    • theory-based evaluation


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