Clinical practice guidelines: necessary but not sufficient for evidence-based patient education and counseling

Patient Educ Couns. 2001 Mar;42(3):279-87. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(00)00129-4.


While clinical practice guidelines provide direction for the management of specific diseases or particular clinical problems, there are major gaps between guidelines and their implementation. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how an existing guideline can be used to develop an evidence-based patient education program. Congestive heart failure (CHF) represents a range of complex, chronic illnesses which offer little hope of cure yet require symptom management by health care providers, patients, and their families. Successful self-monitoring, self-care, and decision making are based on acquisition of appropriate knowledge and management skills. We describe a comprehensive teaching program in which the content was built on the clinical evidence from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research recommendations for CHF, and the implementation process was built on adult education evidence, adapted to health issues and patient learning challenges.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Self Care*