Thinking styles and doctors' knowledge and behaviours relating to acute coronary syndromes guidelines
Bond, Malcolm James
Chew, Derek Peng
Phillips, Paddy Andrew
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Background How humans think and make decisions is important in understanding behaviour. Hence an understanding of cognitive processes among physicians may inform our understanding of behaviour in relation to evidence implementation strategies. A personality theory, Cognitive-Experiential Self Theory (CEST) proposes a relationship between different ways of thinking and behaviour, and articulates pathways for behaviour change. However prior to the empirical testing of interventions based on CEST, it is first necessary to demonstrate its suitability among a sample of healthcare workers. Objectives To investigate the relationship between thinking styles and the knowledge and clinical practices of doctors directly involved in the management of acute coronary syndromes. Methods Self-reported doctors' thinking styles (N = 74) were correlated with results from a survey investigating knowledge, attitudes, and clinical practice, and evaluated against recently published acute coronary syndrome clinical guidelines. Results Guideline-discordant practice was associated with an experiential style of thinking. Conversely, guideline-concordant practice was associated with a higher preference for a rational style of reasoning. Conclusion Findings support that while guidelines might be necessary to communicate evidence, other strategies may be necessary to target discordant behaviours. Further research designed to examine the relationships found in the current study is required.