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The Ohio State University

Health Sciences Library

Medicine

What makes a good practice guideline?

All practice guidelines are not created equal. Consider the following:

  • Scope and Purpose - Does the guideline specifically state the clinical question(s) it intends to answer and the patient population(s) to which it applies?
  • Stakeholder Involvement - Did the guideline development team include all relevant professional groups (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc.) and consider patient perspectives?
  • Rigor of Development - Is the guideline based on a thorough literature search? Is the process for appraising evidence and forming recommendations clearly described?
  • Clarity of Presentation - Is the guideline clear and comprehensible?
  • Applicability - Is the guideline realistic in the institutional environment where it is to be implemented?
  • Editorial Independence - Are there any conflicts of interest in the guideline development team or process?

Finding Practice Guidelines