The present supplement summarizes the proceedings of the symposium “Implementing practice guidelines: A workshop on guidelines dissemination and implementation with a focus on asthma and COPD”, which took place in Quebec City, Quebec, from April 14 to 16, 2005. This international symposium was a joint initiative of the Laval University Office of Continuing Medical Education (Bureau de la Formation Médicale Continue), the Canadian Thoracic Society and the Canadian Network for Asthma Care, and was supported by many other organizations and by industrial partners. The objectives of this meeting were to examine the optimal implementation of practice guidelines, review current initiatives for the implementation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) guidelines in Canada and in the rest of the world, and develop an optimal strategy for future guideline implementation. An impressive group of scientists, physicians and other health care providers, as well as policy makers and representatives of patients’ associations, the pharmaceutical industry, research and health networks, and communications specialists, conveyed their perspectives on how to achieve these goals.
This important event provided a unique opportunity for all participants to discuss key issues in improving the care of patients with asthma and COPD. These two diseases are responsible for an enormous human and socioeconomic burden around the world. Many reports have indicated that current evidence-based guidelines are underused by physicians and others, and that there are many barriers to an effective translation of recommendations into day-to-day care. There is therefore a need to develop more effective ways to communicate key information to both caregivers and patients, and to promote appropriate health behaviours. This symposium contributed to the initiation of what could become the “Canadian Asthma and COPD Campaign”, aimed at improving care and, hence, the quality of life of those suffering from these diseases.
It is hoped that this event will be followed by other meetings that focus on how to improve the transfer of key recommendations from evidence-based guidelines into current care, and how to stimulate research to accomplish this.
Asthma; COPD; Evidence-based medicine; Guidelines implementation; Practice guidelines
In an era when an increasing amount of clinical information is available to health care professionals, the effective implementation of clinical practice guidelines requires the development of strategies to facilitate the use of these guidelines. The objective of this study was to assess attitudes towards clinical practice guidelines, as well as the barriers and facilitators to their use, among Estonian physicians. The study was conducted to inform the revision of the clinical practice guideline development process and can provide inspiration to other countries considering the increasing use of evidence-based medicine.
We conducted an online survey of physicians to assess resource, system, and attitudinal barriers. We also asked a set of questions related to improving the use of clinical practice guidelines and collected free-text comments. We hypothesized that attitudes concerning guidelines may differ by gender, years of experience and practice setting. The study population consisted of physicians from the database of the Department of Continuing Medical Education of the University of Tartu. Differences between groups were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test.
41% (497/1212) of physicians in the database completed the questionnaire, comprising more than 10% of physicians in the country. Most respondents (79%) used treatment guidelines in their daily clinical practice. Lack of time was the barrier identified by the most physicians (42%), followed by lack of medical resources for implementation (32%). The majority of physicians disagreed with the statement that guidelines were not accessible (73%) or too complicated (70%). Physicians practicing in outpatient settings or for more than 25 years were the most likely to experience difficulties in guideline use. 95% of respondents agreed that an easy-to-find online database of guidelines would facilitate use.
Use of updated evidence-based guidelines is a prerequisite for the high-quality management of diseases, and recognizing the factors that affect guideline compliance makes it possible to work towards improving guideline adherence in clinical practice. In our study, physicians with long-term clinical experience and doctors in outpatient settings perceived more barriers, which should be taken into account when planning strategies in improving the use of guidelines. Informed by the results of the survey, leading health authorities are making an effort to develop specially designed interventions to implement clinical practice guidelines, including an easily accessible online database.
Clinical practice guidelines; Implementation; Estonia; World health organization; Barriers; Facilitators
Clinical practice guidelines are one of the foundations of efforts to improve health care. In 1999, we authored a paper about methods to develop guidelines. Since it was published, the methods of guideline development have progressed both in terms of methods and necessary procedures and the context for guideline development has changed with the emergence of guideline clearing houses and large scale guideline production organisations (such as the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). It therefore seems timely to, in a series of three articles, update and extend our earlier paper. In this first paper we discuss: the target audience(s) for guidelines and their use of guidelines; identifying topics for guidelines; guideline group composition (including consumer involvement) and the processes by which guideline groups function and the important procedural issue of managing conflicts of interest in guideline development.
To be useful, clinical practice guidelines need to be evidence based; otherwise they will not achieve the validity, reliability and credibility required for implementation.
This paper compares the methods used in gathering, analysing and linking of evidence to guideline recommendations in ten current hypertension guidelines.
It found several guidelines had failed to implement methods of searching for the relevant literature, critical analysis and linking to recommendations that minimise the risk of bias in the interpretation of research evidence. The more rigorous guidelines showed discrepancies in recommendations and grading that reflected different approaches to the use of evidence in guideline development.
Clinical practice guidelines as a methodology are clearly still an evolving health care technology.
Clinical practice guidelines are one of the foundations of efforts to improve health care. In 1999, we authored a paper about methods to develop guidelines. Since it was published, the methods of guideline development have progressed both in terms of methods and necessary procedures and the context for guideline development has changed with the emergence of guideline clearing houses and large scale guideline production organisations (such as the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). It therefore seems timely to, in a series of three articles, update and extend our earlier paper. In this third paper we discuss the issues of: reviewing, reporting, and publishing guidelines; updating guidelines; and the two emerging issues of enhancing guideline implementability and how guideline developers should approach dealing with the issue of patients who will be the subject of guidelines having co-morbid conditions.
Documentation of unexplained geographic variations in medical practices and use of inappropriate interventions has led to the proliferation of clinical practice guidelines. With increased enthusiasm for guidelines, evidence exists that clinical practice guidelines often influence clinical practices or health outcomes. Their successful implementation may improve the quality of care by decreasing in appropriate variation and expediting the application of effective advances to healthcare practices. In Korea, physicians and healthcare professionals have begun to take interests in clinical practice guidelines. Currently, over 50 practice guidelines have been developed through professional academic organizations or via other routes; however, the quality of the guidelines is unsatisfactory, implementation in clinical settings is incomplete, and there is insufficient infrastructure to develop clinical practice guidelines. Korea must develop policies and invest resources to enhance the development and implementation of clinical practice guidelines.
Clinical Practice Guidelines; Evidence-Based Medicine; Healthcare Quality; Health Policy; Clinical Practice Guideline Development; Korea
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition with several late complications that can be delayed or avoided through proper preventive health care. Although practice guidelines have been established to improve the preventive care in diabetics, dissemination of these guidelines among physicians and educational programs have been only moderately successful in changing physicians' practice patterns. Previous efforts, however, did not utilize computer-generated reminders. We developed a system of computer-generated reminders for diabetic preventive care. We completed an implementation of the system in the outpatient clinics of internal medicine residents at our institution. This paper describes the development and implementation of this system. Our results showed that the system flagged an average of 13 items that deviated from diabetes guideline compliance, out of a possible 21 items per patient. The residents completed encounter forms used by the system for 37% of patients seen during a six month period. Physician users exhibited positive attitudes toward the use of guidelines which they judged improved quality at no additional cost of care. However, the complexity and length of the guideline encounter forms and the additional time demands proved to be significant obstacles to current routine use. Our experience will help to improve the system so that it is more usable and acceptable to physicians, especially in the future as health care increasingly makes use of electronic medical record systems.
This study aims to investigate the factors related to the adoption of clinical practice guidelines in clinical settings in Korea; it also aims to determine how these factors differ depending on the specific situation of health care system and professional climate. The research sample comprised physicians who are board members of academic societies with experiences in development of clinical practice guidelines using a convenient sampling. We analyzed 324 physicians with pooling two-year sample of 2007 and 2008. From all the respondents, 48.8% stated that they followed Clinical Practice Guidelines, and 93.4% agreed with the content in the Clinical Practice Guidelines. With regard to the item on the self-efficacy of practicing guidelines, 90.3% of the respondents selected 'low level'. In the regression analysis, the factors associated with implementation were level of recognition, agreement and self-efficacy and positive attitude towards practice guidelines. Although the health care system in Korea differs from those in Western countries, our results revealed that the factors related to the adoption of practice guidelines were similar to the research results of Western countries. These results suggest that professionals' attitudes towards clinical practice guidelines are universal, and implementation strategies should be developed globally.
Clinical Practice Guidelines; Korean Physicians; Evidence-Based Medicine; Adoption; Implementation; Self Efficacy; Rrecognition
OBJECTIVE: To recommend effective strategies for implementing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). DATA SOURCES: The Research and Development Resource Base in Continuing Medical Education, maintained by the University of Toronto, was searched, as was MEDLINE from January 1990 to June 1996, inclusive, with the use of the MeSH heading "practice guidelines" and relevant text words. STUDY SELECTION: Studies of CPG implementation strategies and reviews of such studies were selected. Randomized controlled trials and trials that objectively measured physicians' performance or health care outcomes were emphasized. DATA EXTRACTION: Articles were reviewed to determine the effect of various factors on the adoption of guidelines. DATA SYNTHESIS: The articles showed that CPG dissemination or implementation processes have mixed results. Variables that affect the adoption of guidelines include qualities of the guidelines, characteristics of the health care professional, characteristics of the practice setting, incentives, regulation and patient factors. Specific strategies fell into 2 categories: primary strategies involving mailing or publication of the actual guidelines and secondary interventional strategies to reinforce the guidelines. The interventions were shown to be weak (didactic, traditional continuing medical education and mailings), moderately effective (audit and feedback, especially concurrent, targeted to specific providers and delivered by peers or opinion leaders) and relatively strong (reminder systems, academic detailing and multiple interventions). CONCLUSIONS: The evidence shows serious deficiencies in the adoption of CPGs in practice. Future implementation strategies must overcome this failure through an understanding of the forces and variables influencing practice and through the use of methods that are practice- and community-based rather than didactic.
Clinical practice guidelines are regarded as powerful tools to achieve effective health care. Although many countries have built up experience in the development, appraisal, and implementation of guidelines, until recently there has been no established forum for collaboration at an international level. As a result, in different countries seeking similar goals and using similar strategies, efforts have been unnecessarily duplicated and opportunities for harmonisation lost because of the lack of a supporting organisational framework. This triggered a proposal in 2001 for an international guidelines network built on existing partnerships. A baseline survey confirmed a strong demand for such an entity. A multinational group of guideline experts initiated the development of a non-profit organisation aimed at promotion of systematic guideline development and implementation. The Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) was founded in November 2002. One year later the Network released the International Guideline Library, a searchable database which now contains more than 2000 guideline resources including published guidelines, guidelines under development, "guidelines for guidelines", training materials, and patient information tools. By June 2004, 52 organisations from 27 countries had joined the network including institutions from Oceania, North America, and Europe, and WHO. This paper describes the process that led to the foundation of the G-I-N, its characteristics, prime activities, and ideas on future projects and collaboration.
To investigate the effect of clinical guidelines on the management of infertility across the primary care-secondary care interface.
Cluster randomised controlled trial.
General practices and NHS hospitals accepting referrals for infertility in the Greater Glasgow Health Board area.
All 221 general practices in Glasgow; 214 completed the trial.
General practices in the intervention arm received clinical guidelines developed locally. Control practices received them one year later. Dissemination of the guidelines included educational meetings.
Main outcome measures
The time from presentation to referral, investigations completed in general practice, the number and content of visits as a hospital outpatient, the time to reach a management plan, and costs for referrals from the two groups.
Data on 689 referrals were collected. No significant difference was found in referral rates for infertility. Fewer than 1% of couples were referred inappropriately early. Referrals from intervention practices were significantly more likely to have all relevant investigations carried out (odds ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.00 to 1.75, P=0.025). 70% of measurements of serum progesterone concentrations during the midluteal phase and 34% of semen analyses were repeated at least once in hospital, despite having been recorded as normal when checked in general practice. No difference was found in the proportion of referrals in which a management plan was reached within one year or in the mean duration between first appointment and date of management plan. NHS costs were not significantly affected.
Dissemination of infertility guidelines by commonly used methods results in a modest increase in referrals having recommended investigations completed in general practice, but there are no detectable differences in outcome for patients or reduction in costs. Clinicians in secondary care tended to fail to respond to changes in referral practice by doctors. Guidelines that aim to improve the referral process need to be disseminated and implemented so as to lead to changes in both primary care and secondary care.
What is already known on this topicMost previous research into clinical guidelines has focused on their development and implementationEvidence is lacking about the outcomes and costs associated with the use of clinical guidelinesWhat this study addsClinical guidelines that may alter the balance of care between general practice and hospital settings require more intensive implementation than guidelines aimed at either setting on its ownThe cost effectiveness of clinical guidelines should not be assumed
Clinical guidelines, or protocols, have been devised by many different groups, often with differing aims. Some aim to reduce variations in care by using guidelines, while others seek to improve outcomes. Guidelines have long been used in the United States to try to control the behaviour of the medical profession--and the cost of health care. The "effectiveness initiative," run by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research spawned much activity among other groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. The experience of the Americans in analysing data to gauge effectiveness and then in disseminating good practice may help British moves in this direction. In particular, it is often hard to get guidelines adopted in practice; doctors have to be exposed to the same message in different forms. Also guidelines must not be unrealistic: those devised by senior doctors away from the realities of day to day practice are likely to fail.
Clinical guidelines have increasingly been used as tools for applying new knowledge and research findings. Although, efforts have been made to produce clinical guidelines in Iran, it is not clear whether they have been used by physicians and what factors are associated with them?.
Four hundred and forty three practicing physicians in Tehran were selected from private clinics through weighted random sampling. The data collection tool was a questionnaire on familiarity and attitude toward clinical guidelines. The descriptive and analytical findings were analyzed with t-tests, Chi2, logistic and linear multivariate regression by SPSS, version 16.
31.8% of physicians were familiar with clinical guidelines. Based on the logistic regression model physicians’ familiarity with clinical guidelines was positively and significantly associated with ‘working experience in a health service delivery point’ OR = 2.13 (95% CI, 1.17-3.90), ‘familiarity with therapeutic protocols’ OR = 2.09 (95% CI, 1.22-3.57) and ‘holding a specialty degree’ OR = 2.51 (95% CI, 1.24-5.07). The mean overall attitude scores in the ‘usefulness’, ‘reliability’, and ‘problems and barriers’ domains were, respectively, 78.9 (SD = 16.5), 78.9 (SD = 19.7) and 50.4 (SD = 15.9) out of a total of 100 scores in each domain. No significant association was observed between attitude domains and other independent variables using multivariate linear regression.
Little familiarity with clinical guidelines may represent weakness in of production and distribution of domestic evidence. Although, physicians considered guidelines as useful and reliable tools, but problems such as difficult access to guidelines and lack of facilities to apply them were stated as well.
Attitude; clinical guidelines; evidence-based medicine; physician
Guidelines for clinical practice are being introduced in an extensive way in more and more different fields of medicine They have the potentialities of improving the quality and cost-efficiency of care in an increasingly complex health care delivery environment. Computerization may increase the effectiveness of both the information retrieval of guidelines and the management of guideline-based care. The scenario is evolving from stand-alone workstations to telematics applications that enable guidelines development and dissemination. However, such a knowledge sharing requires the definition of formal models for guidelines representation. The models should have a clear semantics in order to avoid ambiguities. The role of ontologies is that of making explicit the conceptualizations behind a model. In this paper we present our library of ontologies and point out its role for integrating existing guideline models and defining standard representations.
Practice guidelines can improve health care delivery and outcomes but several issues challenge guideline adoption, including their intrinsic attributes, and whether and how they are implemented. It appears that guideline format may influence accessibility and ease of use, which may overcome attitudinal barriers of guideline adoption, and appear to be important to all stakeholders. Guideline content may facilitate various forms of decision making about guideline adoption relevant to different stakeholders. Knowledge and attitudes about, and incentives and capacity for implementation on the part of guideline sponsors may influence whether and how they develop guidelines containing these features, and undertake implementation. Examination of these issues may yield opportunities to improve guideline adoption.
The attributes hypothesized to facilitate adoption will be expanded by thematic analysis, and quantitative and qualitative summary of the content of international guidelines for two primary care (diabetes, hypertension) and institutional care (chronic ulcer, chronic heart failure) topics. Factors that influence whether and how guidelines are implemented will be explored by qualitative analysis of interviews with individuals affiliated with guideline sponsoring agencies.
Previous research examined guideline implementation by measuring rates of compliance with recommendations or associated outcomes, but this produced little insight on how the products themselves, or their implementation, could be improved. This research will establish a theoretical basis upon which to conduct experimental studies to compare the cost-effectiveness of interventions that enhance guideline development and implementation capacity. Such studies could first examine short-term outcomes predictive of guideline utilization, such as recall, attitude toward, confidence in, and adoption intention. If successful, then long-term objective outcomes reflecting the adoption of processes and associated patient care outcomes could be evaluated.
The SAGE (Sharable Active Guideline Environment) Project is multi-site, interdisciplinary, research and development effort to enable encoding and broad dissemination of medical knowledge in the form of computable clinical practice guidelines. The vision of the SAGE Project is that, once encoded, guideline content could be deployed to, and used to provide clinical decision support via the native functions of many, heterogeneous clinical information system platforms. During the five-year project, IDX (now part of GE Healthcare) worked in partnership with Apelon Inc., Intermountain Health Care, Mayo Clinic, Stanford Medical Informatics, and the University Of Nebraska Medical Center to achieve all major project objectives. In this session, we identify key innovations in each of the main project focus areas: The SAGE Guideline Representation Model, the Protégé-based guideline encoding workbench, the SAGE Guideline Execution Engine, and the standards-based interfaces with host clinical information systems. In each area we also describe how our consortium worked collaboratively to define requirements, resolve technical and informatics challenges, and validate prototypes in end-to-end testing.
Clinical guidelines are considered important instruments to improve quality in health care. Since 1998 the Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy (KNGF) produced evidence-based clinical guidelines, based on a standardized program. New developments in the field of guideline research raised the need to evaluate and update the KNGF guideline program.
Purpose of this study is to compare different guideline development programs and review the KNGF guideline program for physical therapy in the Netherlands, in order to update the program.
Six international guideline development programs were selected, and the 23 criteria of the AGREE Instrument were used to evaluate the guideline programs. Information about the programs was retrieved from published handbooks of the organizations. Also, the Dutch program for guideline development in physical therapy was evaluated using the AGREE criteria. Further comparison the six guideline programs was carried out using the following elements of the guideline development processes: Structure and organization; Preparation and initiation; Development; Validation; Dissemination and implementation; Evaluation and update.
Compliance with the AGREE criteria of the guideline programs was high. Four programs addressed 22 AGREE criteria, and two programs addressed 20 AGREE criteria. The previous Dutch program for guideline development in physical therapy lacked in compliance with the AGREE criteria, meeting only 13 criteria.
Further comparison showed that all guideline programs perform systematic literature searches to identify the available evidence. Recommendations are formulated and graded, based on evidence and other relevant factors. It is not clear how decisions in the development process are made. In particular, the process of translating evidence into practice recommendations can be improved.
As a result of international developments and consensus, the described processes for developing clinical practice guidelines have much in common. The AGREE criteria are common basis for the development of guidelines, although it is not clear how final decisions are made. Detailed comparison of the different guideline programs was used for updating the Dutch program. As a result the updated KNGF program complied with 22 AGREE criteria. International discussion is continuing and will be used for further improvement of the program.
Important efforts have been invested in the past few years in the development of quality clinical guidelines. However, the means for the effective dissemination of guidelines to practicing physicians have not been determined. Several studies have examined the possibilities offered by the World Wide Web (the Web), but studies examining the implementation of clinical guidelines in actual practice are clearly lacking.
This study assessed the potential of the Web to implement clinical practice guidelines in actual clinical settings. It also documents the obstacles perceived by the physicians in their use of guidelines on the Internet to determine the role that the Web can play in the implementation of guidelines in practice.
Two guidelines were developed using a standardized panel method and made available via the Web. One concerned indications for low-back surgery and the other dealt with indications for upper and lower digestive endoscopies. To identify obstacles to their use in clinical practice, 20 physicians were asked to consult the guidelines during consultations with patients. Answers were collected using 3 different questionnaires.
Questionnaires were completed for consultations involving 213 patients. Less than 50% of the physicians have direct access to the Internet in their examination room. For 75%, the use of the guidelines was easy and the time required to consult them acceptable (3.4 minutes on average, or 12% of the time spent with the patient). The fear that use of such guidelines might interfere with the physician-patient relationship was mentioned as a reason for not consulting the guidelines for 27 consultations. Taking into account their experience with the Web, 75% of the physicians considered that the Web has a great or very-great potential for the dissemination of guidelines and 78% indicated that they would use such guidelines if they became generally available for clinical questions that concerned them. Only 3 physicians had consulted guidelines on the Web prior to this study.
The acceptance of use of clinical practice guidelines via the Web is high. The main limits to further use of such Web-based guidelines seem to be the lack of a computer connection in the physician's office or examining room and the fear that use of such guidelines might interfere with the physician-patient relationship. Though most participants appreciate the considerable potential of the Web for disseminating guidelines, only a small handful regularly use guidelines available on the Web. There are still numerous obstacles to the regular use of guidelines in clinical practice, some related to the physicians, others to the guidelines themselves.
Practice guidelines; Internet; decision support systems, clinical; appropriateness of care; quality of health care; back pain; laminectomy; endoscopy
In social insurance, the evaluation of work disability is becoming stricter as priority is given to the resumption of work, which calls for a guarantee of quality for these evaluations. Evidence-based guidelines have become a major instrument in the quality control of health care, and the quality of these guidelines' development can be assessed using the AGREE instrument. In social insurance medicine, such guidelines are relatively new. We were interested to know what guidelines have been developed to support the medical evaluation of work disability and the quality of these guidelines.
Five European countries that were reported to use guidelines were approached, using a recent inventory of evaluations of work disability in Europe. We focused on guidelines that are disease-oriented and formally prescribed in social insurance medicine. Using the AGREE instrument, these guidelines were appraised by two researchers. We asked two experts involved in guideline development to indicate if they agreed with our results and to provide explanations for insufficient scores.
We found six German and sixteen Dutch sets of disease-oriented guidelines in official use. The AGREE instrument was applicable, requiring minor adaptations. The appraisers reached consensus on all items. Each guideline scored well on 'scope and purpose' and 'clarity and presentation'. The guidelines scored moderately on 'stakeholder involvement' in the Netherlands, but insufficiently in Germany, due mainly to the limited involvement of patients' representatives in this country. All guidelines had low scores on 'rigour of development', which was due partly to a lack of documentation and of existing evidence. 'Editorial independence' and 'applicability' had low scores in both countries as a result of how the production was organised.
Disease-oriented guidelines in social insurance medicine for the evaluation of work disability are a recent phenomenon, so far restricted to Germany and the Netherlands. The AGREE instrument is suitably applicable to assess the quality of guideline development in social insurance medicine, but some of the scoring rules need to be adapted to the context of social insurance. Existing guidelines do not meet the AGREE criteria to a sufficient level. The way patients' representatives can be involved needs further discussion. The guidelines would profit from more specific recommendations and, for providing evidence, more research is needed on the functional capacity of people with disabilities.
The global community is beginning to address non-communicable diseases, but how to increase the accountability of multinational enterprises (MNEs) for the health impacts of their products and practices remains unclear. We examine the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) efforts to do so through voluntary MNE guidelines.
We developed a historical case study of how the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises were developed and revised from 1973–2000 through an analysis of publicly available archived OECD and tobacco industry documents.
The first edition of the Guidelines was a purely economic instrument. Outside pressures and a desire to ward off more stringent regulatory efforts resulted in the addition over time of guidelines related to the environment, consumer interests, sustainable development, and human rights.
Despite their voluntary nature, the Guidelines can play a role in efforts to help balance the interests of MNEs and public health by providing a starting point for efforts to create binding provisions addressing MNEs’ contributions to disease burden or disease reduction.
Multinational enterprises; OECD; non-communicable diseases; global governance; sustainable development
Rather than improving efficiency, the reforms imposed on the NHS have increased bureaucracy, reduced patient choice, limited the range of core services, and led to inequity of treatment. In this paper I examine how the medical profession might help to solve these problems. Priorities must be set for health care since no government can afford all the possibilities offered by medical science. It is essential to forge a consensus of patients, carers, professionals, the public, and government if a system of priorities is to be equitable and just. We also need to be able to measure quality of outcome in health care. This requires consensus on what is the desired outcome and the development of appropriate guidelines, audit, and performance review. This is primarily a task for the health professions supported by management and by adequate investment. Basically, the government must reinstate the three traditional values of the NHS--equity, consensus, and regard for representative professional advice.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common chronic inflammatory skin disorder in children, with a worldwide cumulative prevalence in children of 8-20%. The number of AD patients is beyond the level that can be dealt with at clinics and it is time to make an effort to reduce the number of AD patients in the community. Thus, caregivers and all persons involved with AD management, including health care providers, educators, technologists and medical policy makers, should understand the development and the management of AD. Although a number of guidelines such as Practical Allergy (PRACTALL) report have been developed and used, community understanding of these is low. This is probably because there are still remarkable differences in management practices between specialists and between countries and most of the reported guidelines have been prepared for physicians. From the viewpoint of providing a basis for a multidisciplinary team approach, easily comprehensible guidelines for organizing treatment of AD, i.e. an Atopic Dermatitis Organizer (ADO), are required. guidelines should be simple and well organized. We suggest an easy approach with a new classification of AD symptoms into early and/or progressive lesions in acute and/or chronic symptoms. The contents of this ADO guideline basically consist of 3 steps approaches: conservative management, topical anti-inflammatory therapy, and systemic anti-inflammatory therapy.
Atopic dermatitis; classification, Management; Guideline
A key mandate of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) is to promote evidence-based respiratory care through clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). To improve the quality and validity of the production, dissemination and implementation of its CPGs, the CTS has revised its guideline process and has created the Canadian Respiratory Guidelines Committee to oversee this process. The present document outlines the basic methodological tools and principles of the new CTS guideline production process. Important features include standard methods for choosing and formulating optimal questions and for finding, appraising, and summarizing the evidence; use of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system for rating the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations; use of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation instrument for quality control during and after guideline development and for appraisal of other guidelines; use of the ADAPTE process for adaptation of existing guidelines to the local context; and use of the GuideLine Implementability Appraisal tool to augment implementability of guidelines. The CTS has also committed to develop guidelines in new areas, an annual guideline review cycle, and a new formal process for dissemination and implementation. Ultimately, it is anticipated that these changes will have a significant impact on the quality of care and clinical outcomes of individuals suffering from respiratory diseases across Canada.
Clinical practice guideline; Evidence-based medicine; Guideline adherence; Practice guidelines
OBJECTIVE: To test the ability of two different clinical practice guideline formats to influence physician ordering of electrodiagnostic tests in low back pain. DATA SOURCES/STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial of the effect of practice guidelines on self-reported physician test ordering behavior in response to a series of 12 clinical vignettes. Data came from a national random sample of 900 U.S. neurologists, physical medicine physicians, and general internists. INTERVENTION: Two different versions of a practice guideline for the use of electrodiagnostic tests (EDT) were developed by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Low Back Problems Panel. The two guidelines were similar in content but varied in the specificity of their recommendations. DATA COLLECTION: The proportion of clinical vignettes for which EDTs were ordered for appropriate and inappropriate clinical indications in each of three physician groups were randomly assigned to receive vignettes alone, vignettes plus the nonspecific version of the guideline, or vignettes plus the specific version of the guideline. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The response rate to the survey was 71 percent. The proportion of appropriate vignettes for which EDTs were ordered averaged 77 percent for the no guideline group, 71 percent for the nonspecific guideline group, and 79 percent for the specific guideline group (p = .002). The corresponding values for the number of EDTs ordered for inappropriate vignettes were 32 percent, 32 percent, and 26 percent, respectively (p = .08). Pairwise comparisons showed that physicians receiving the nonspecific guidelines ordered fewer EDTs for appropriate clinical vignettes than did physicians receiving no guidelines (p = .02). Furthermore, compared to physicians receiving nonspecific guidelines, physicians receiving specific guidelines ordered significantly more EDTs for appropriate vignettes (p = .0007) and significantly fewer EDTs for inappropriate vignettes (p = .04). CONCLUSIONS: The clarity and clinical applicability of a guideline may be important attributes that contribute to the effects of practice guidelines.
Compared with the current focus on the development of clinical practice guidelines the effort devoted to their evaluation is meagre. Yet the ultimate success of guidelines depends on routine evaluation. Three types of evaluation are identified: evaluation of guidelines under development and before dissemination and implementation, evaluation of health care programs in which guidelines play a central role, and scientific evaluation, through studies that provide the scientific knowledge base for further evolution of guidelines. Identification of evaluation and program goals, evaluation design and a framework for evaluation planning are discussed.