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Use of the American Urological Association Clinical Practice Guidelines: Data from the AUA Census



Through systematic data review and expert consensus, the AUA (American Urological Association) produces clinical practice guidelines that serve to provide evidence-based guidance with an explicit clinical scope and purpose. In this study we determined whether urologists use clinical practice guidelines when making clinical decisions, and whether demographic factors are associated with not using the guidelines or with a lack of guideline awareness.


We examined the 2014 AUA Census. Our outcome was a question regarding whether the participant used AUA clinical practice guidelines in clinical decision making. We performed comparative statistical analyses, stratifying our outcome by demographic and practice specific variables.


A total of 2,204 urologists completed the census, representing 18.9% of practicing urologists in the United States. Median age was 53 years and 91.1% were male. The majority of urologists used clinical practice guidelines (94.8%) in clinical decision making. Clinical practice guidelines had the lowest use among urologists 65 years old or older (89.2%), those in solo practice (88.3%) and pediatric specialists (87.9%). Based on a multivariable logistic regression analysis, factors associated with not using clinical practice guidelines included increasing age, metropolitan practice setting and solo practice. Gender, AUA section, level of rurality and fellowship training were not statistically associated with clinical practice guideline use.


The majority of urologists (approximately 95%) use AUA clinical practice guidelines to inform clinical decisions. Our findings support the importance of clinical practice guidelines and highlight potential opportunities for better targeted outreach to improve clinical practice guideline use among practicing urologists.

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