Attitudes of pediatric intensive care unit physicians towards the use of cognitive aids: A qualitative study
CCCF ePoster library. Weiss M. 10/26/15; 117320; P37 Disclosure(s)(s): None
Dr. Matthew J Weiss
Dr. Matthew J Weiss
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Topic: Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Project

Attitudes of pediatric intensive care unit physicians towards the use of cognitive aids: A qualitative study

Matthew J Weiss, C. Kramer, S. Tremblay, L. Côté

Pediatrics, Centre Mère-Enfant Soleil du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Québec, Canada | Psychology, Université Laval, Québec, Canada | Pscyhology, Université Laval, Québec, Canada | Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada


Cognitive aids are increasingly recommended in clinical practice, yet little is known about the attitudes of physicians towards these tools.

Objectives: To further our understanding of physician attitudes towards cognitive aids by applying qualitative analysis using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as our theoretical framework.

Methods: We employed a qualitative, descriptive design to explore physician attitudes towards cognitive aids in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Semi-structured interviews elicited the opinions of a convenience sample of practicing PICU physicians towards the use of cognitive aids. We analyzed interview data for thematic content to examine the three factors of intention to use cognitive aids as defined by the TPB, attitudes, social norms, and perceived control.


Analysis of 14 interviews suggested cognitive aids are widely used. Discovered themes touched on all three factors of intention and included: aids are perceived to improve team communication; aids may improve patient safety; aids may hinder clinician judgment; physicians may resist implementation if it occurs prior to demonstration of benefit; effective adoption requires cognitive aids to be integrated into local workplace culture; and implementation should take physician concerns into account.


Our sample of PICU physicians were open to cognitive aids in their practice, as long as such aids preserve the primacy of clinical judgment, focus on team communication, demonstrate effectiveness through preliminary testing, and are designed and implemented with the local culture and work environment in mind. Future knowledge translation efforts to implement cognitive aids would likely benefit from consideration of these issues.


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