Evidence-Based Medicine, Part 6. An Introduction to Critical Appraisal of Clinical Practice Guidelines

Brent W. Sanderlin, DO, and Nashila AbdulRahim, OMS IV
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: March 13, 2007

Accepted: June 18, 2007

Published: August 1, 2007

J Osteopath Med; 107(8): 321-324

This article provides an introductory step-by-step process to appraise clinical practice guidelines. The authors introduce these principles using a systematic approach and case-based format. The process of assessing the validity of clinical practice guidelines, determining their importance, and applying them to an individual patient is reviewed. The concepts of study population homogeneity, equal treatment, and study completeness are discussed to help physicians determine the validity of clinical practice guidelines. Finally, information that is learned from the previously mentioned steps is applied to patient care. Study generalizability and the role of patient values, expectations, and concerns are also addressed. The skills learned from appraising clinical practice guidelines in the manner outlined provides a solid basis for life-long learning and improved patient care.

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