The aim of this study was to evaluate a secondary preventive ergonomic programme to reduce musculoskeletal disorders among dentists. Over 50% of the 57 dentists did implement the recommendations fully or nearly fully, and 40% did it partially. Barriers for a change included changing old routines and financial aspects. Important facilitators were motivation, pain and tailormade advice. The dentists did see a clear relation between the implementation of recommendations and a reduction in musculoskeletal disorders. The study showed that even in a highly motivated group recommendations to reduce musculoskeletal disorders will often be partially implemented. Improving the understanding of barriers and facilitators may result in a class of guidelines dealing with implementation issues leading to more effective prevention.