The Guideline Implementability Decision Excellence Model (GUIDE-M): A Mixed Methods Approach to Create an International Resource to Advance the Practice Guideline Field

Implement Sci. 2015 Mar 15;10:36. doi: 10.1186/s13012-015-0225-1.


Background: Practice guideline (PG) implementability refers to PG features that promote their use. While there are tools and resources to promote PG implementability, none are based on an evidence-informed and multidisciplinary perspective. Our objectives were to (i) create a comprehensive and evidence-informed model of PG implementability, (ii) seek support for the model from the international PG community, (iii) map existing implementability tools on to the model, (iv) prioritize areas for further investigation, and (v) describe how the model can be used by PG developers, users, and researchers.

Methods: A mixed methods approach was used. Using our completed realist review of the literature of seven different disciplines as the foundation, an iterative consensus process was used to create the beta version of the model. This was followed by (i) a survey of international stakeholders (guideline developers and users) to gather feedback and to refine the model, (ii) a content analysis comparing the model to existing PG tools, and (iii) a strategy to prioritize areas of the model for further research by members of the research team.

Results: The Guideline Implementability for Decision Excellence Model (GUIDE-M) is comprised of 3 core tactics, 7 domains, 9 subdomains, 44 attributes, and 40 subattributes and elements. Feedback on the beta version was received from 248 stakeholders from 34 countries. The model was rated as logical, relevant, and appropriate. Seven PG tools were selected and compared to the GUIDE-M: very few tools targeted the Contextualization and Deliberations domain. Also, fewer of the tools addressed PG appraisal than PG development and reporting functions. These findings informed the research priorities identified by the team.

Conclusions: The GUIDE-M provides an evidence-informed international and multidisciplinary conceptualization of PG implementability. The model can be used by PG developers to help them create more implementable recommendations, by clinicians and other users to help them be better consumers of PGs, and by the research community to identify priorities for further investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Models, Organizational
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Program Development