International guidelines and Choosing Wisely recommendations advise against testing for vitamin D levels, except in very specific clinical circumstances. Despite this guidance, unnecessary testing for vitamin D levels continues partly due to patient demand, mass media attention, weak correlational studies connecting vitamin D to various health concerns, and physicians ordering it routinely.
What are the barriers to change?
Changing ingrained practices and behaviours in primary care can be difficult. Confusion about the limited circumstances where vitamin D testing is appropriate and trying to meet patient requests can contribute to physicians ordering the test.
How should practice change?
In this BMJ article, authors suggest that multi-component interventions—which include clinician and patient education, audit and feedback, order set changes, and clinical decision support—are effective in reducing unnecessary vitamin D testing.