The Standard Treatment Guidelines: perception and utilization in a tertiary health care facility in Nigeria

[Speaker] Stephen A Ayinbuomwan:1
[Co-author] Ambrose O Isah:1
1:Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

The introduction of the Standard Treatment Guideline (STG) for use by clinicians in hospital is intended to promote rational, safe and cost effective use of medicines in the health care system. The Nigerian National Standard Treatment Guideline (NNSTG) was introduced in 2008 and the second edition has just been recently launched (July 2017). The process of development of the STG entailed the participation of expert clinicians in all the subspecialties building consensus and upholding the state of the art/ standard of care with endorsement from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH). This study evaluates the level of awareness, acceptance and use of this tool within the Nigerian Health Care System.
The study was carried out at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital , Benin City , Nigeria- a tertiary healthcare facility with over 800 beds. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to doctors in the hospital over a seven months period - January - July 2017. Information sought included the bio-data,awareness of the STG, publication and use of the STG, the perceived advantages and disadvantages, and suggestions on how to improve its use.The findings are represented as the frequency (percentages) and Mean (SD).
The response rate was 77.5%(155/200) with 104 males, aged 34.1 (SD 6.4) years. The level of awareness was 46.5% (72/155) with 21.9%(34/155) having received lessons on the subject; 53.0% (18/34) as students. Awareness of the date of the initial introduction of the STG at the National level was 4.5% (7/155) with 1.3% (2/155) aware of the current edition of the NSTG. The description of the STG was satisfactory in 27.7% (43/155) participants. Again only 20.6% (32/155) currently use the NSTG with 12.3% (19/155) rating the entire STG utilization as successful.
These findings suggest a low awareness and poor utilization of the STG among doctors in the facility which may be a reflection of the national situation. There is need to encourage the use of this clinical tool so as to ensure rational use of medicines and delivery of health care in Resource Limited Settings.
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