Development and Limitations of Clinical Practice Guidelines

  • Bruce CulletonEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 473)


Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements to assist practitioners and patients reach appropriate health care decisions. If developed properly, clinical practice guidelines assimilate and translate an abundance of evidence published on a daily basis into practice recommendations and, in doing so, reduce the use of unnecessary or harmful interventions and facilitate the treatment of patients to achieve maximum benefit and minimum risk at an acceptable cost. Traditionally, clinical practice guidelines were consensus-based statements, often riddled with expert opinion. It is now recognized that clinical practice guidelines should be developed according to a transparent process involving principles of bias minimization and systematic evidence retrieval and review, with a focus on patient-relevant outcomes. The process for the development, implementation, and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines are reviewed in this chapter.

Key words

Clinical practice guidelines clinical practice recommendations critical appraisal guideline grading implementation evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baxter-Renal DivisionMagaw ParkUSA

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