Clinical Practice Guidelines: A Primer on Development and Dissemination

Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Mar;92(3):423-433. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.01.001.


Trustworthy clinical practice guidelines should be based on a systematic review of the literature, provide ratings of the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations, consider patient values, and be developed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts. The quality of evidence reflects our certainty that the evidence warrants a particular action. Transforming evidence into a decision requires consideration of the quality of evidence, balance of benefits and harms, patients' values, available resources, feasibility of the intervention, acceptability by stakeholders, and effect on health equity. Empirical evidence shows that adherence to guidelines improves patient outcomes; however, adherence to guidelines is variable. Therefore, guidelines require active dissemination and innovative implementation strategies.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*