Developing clinical guidelines for end-of-life care: blending evidence and consensus

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2012 Aug;18(8):397-405. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2012.18.8.397.


Background: Developing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is challenging, particularly in areas that are difficult to research such as end-of-life care.

Aim: To describe the process that staff in a large regional health-care service in Victoria, Australia, used to develop CPGs for managing diabetes at the end of life.

Method: An interdisciplinary advisory group was appointed, a structured literature review undertaken, personal illness accounts sourced, and a guiding philosophy formulated. Individual interviews were conducted with people with diabetes and their carers. Formative and summative evaluation was undertaken.

Results: No level I or II evidence was identified. The interviews yielded important information about how people wanted their diabetes managed. Formative evaluation enabled stakeholders to participate in developing the CPGs. The summative evaluation confirmed the CPGs are easy to use and appropriate to clinical staff.

Conclusions: The CPG development process yielded the best current evidence on which to base care plans and person-centred CPGs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Consensus
  • Diabetes Mellitus / nursing*
  • Disease Management
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Program Development
  • Terminal Care / methods
  • Terminal Care / organization & administration*
  • Terminal Care / standards*
  • Victoria