Thinking styles and doctors' knowledge and behaviours relating to acute coronary syndromes guidelines

Ruth M. Sladek, Malcolm J. Bond, Luan T. Huynh, Derek P.B. Chew, Paddy A. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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