What motivates general practitioners to change practice behaviour? A qualitative study of audit and feedback group sessions in Dutch general practice

Marije van Braak, Mechteld Visser, Marije Holtrop, Ilona Statius Muller, Jettie Bont, Nynke van Dijk

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Adopting an attributional perspective, the current article investigates how audit and feedback group sessions contribute to general practitioners' (GPs) motivation to change their practice behaviour to improve care. We focus on the contributions of the audit and feedback itself (content) and the group discussion (process). Methods Four focus groups, comprising a total of 39 participating Dutch GPs, discussed and compared audit and feedback of their practices. The focus groups were analysed thematically. Results Audit and feedback contributed to GPs' motivation to change in two ways: by raising awareness about aspects of their current care practice and by providing indications of the possible impact of change. For these contributions to play out, the audit and feedback should be reliable and valid, specific, recent and recurrent and concern GPs' own practices or practices within their own influence sphere. Care behaviour attributed to external, uncontrollable or unstable causes would not induce change. The added value of the group is twofold as well: group discussion contributed to GPs' motivation to change by providing a frame of reference and by affording insights that participants would not have been able to achieve on their own. Conclusions In audit and feedback group sessions, both audit and feedback information and group discussion can valuably contribute to GPs' motivation to change care practice behaviour. Peer interaction can positively contribute to explore alternative practices and avenues for improvement. Local or regional peer meetings would be beneficial in facilitating reflection and discussion. An important avenue for future studies is to explore the contribution of audit and feedback and small-group discussion to actual practice change.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere025286
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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