Experiences and barriers to implementation of clinical practice guideline for depression in Korea

Jaewon Yang, Changsu Han, Ho Kyoung Yoon, Chi Un Pae, Min Jeong Kim, Sun Young Park, Jeonghoon Ahn

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22 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical guidelines can improve health-care delivery, but there are a number of challenges in adopting and implementing the current practice guidelines for depression. The aim of this study was to determine clinical experiences and perceived barriers to the implementation of these guidelines in psychiatric care.Methods: A web-based survey was conducted with 386 psychiatric specialists to inquire about experiences and attitudes related to the depression guidelines and barriers influencing the use of the guidelines. Quantitative data were analyzed, and qualitative data were transcribed and coded manually.Results: Almost three quarters of the psychiatrists (74.6%) were aware of the clinical guidelines for depression, and over half of participants (55.7%) had had clinical experiences with the guidelines in practice. The main reported advantages of the guidelines were that they helped in clinical decision making and provided informative resources for the patients and their caregivers. Despite this, some psychiatrists were making treatment decisions that were not in accordance with the depression guidelines. Lack of knowledge was the main obstacle to the implementation of guidelines assessed by the psychiatrists. Other complaints addressed difficulties in accessing the guidelines, lack of support for mental health services, and general attitudes toward guideline necessity. Overall, the responses suggested that adding a summary booklet, providing teaching sessions, and improving guidance delivery systems could be effective tools for increasing depression guideline usage.Conclusion: Individual barriers, such as lack of awareness and lack of familiarity, and external barriers, such as the supplying system, can affect whether physicians' implement the guidelines for the treatment of depression in Korea. These findings suggest that further medical education to disseminate guidelines contents could improve public health for depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150
JournalBMC Psychiatry
StatePublished - 27 May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was completed as part of the health technology assessment report (project no. NM11-003) and funded by the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency (NECA) in Korea. Dr. Han was supported by Korea University Grant.


  • Depressive disorder
  • Health care surveys
  • Practice guidelines
  • Questionnaires


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