Patients, authorities and the professional themselves ask today for evidence-based examinations, prognosis, and treatments. However, the amount of available research results is both the reason and the problem of this demand. While enough research gives the clinician a real opportunity to based practice on the evidence, the huge amount of research make it also very difficult to find all the relevant research results for a specific clinical question. For almost 20 years the Cochrane Collaboration and a number of journals have published systematic reviews in order to systematically combine all research results within a certain clinical area. However, one thing is a summary and overview of the results from the existing research, another question is what do these results mean for my daily practice? A Clinical Guideline (CG) is a method to deal with exactly that. By identifying all relevant research results, evaluating the quality of the research, summing up the results (for instance by meta-analyses) and by involving both clinical practitioners, researchers and not at least patients in interpreting these results, it is possible to formulate specific recommendations for the clinical practice.
Even though the amount of research is high, there are of course still some questions the research hasn’t found the answer to yet. Still the patients need to be treated, and thus many CG include recommendations solely based upon the experience from clinical practice. Experience from the clinic is of course not as trustworthy as results from good research, but by performing a systematic collection of clinical experience, the authors of the CG have a much better foundation for interpreting the research results and thereby formulate relevant recommendations.
In many cases, the authors of the CG have tested the recommendations in clinical practice before publishing. Further, the CG is often evaluated by an external referee group consisting of researchers, practitioners and patients, also before publishing. In other words, a CG is a very judicious and useful document for all clinicians.
The lecture will present how a CG is developed, evaluated and suggestions for use of CG in clinical will be given. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of a CG are discussed.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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