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Int J Qual Health Care. 2001 Aug;13(4):325-32.

Development process of an evidence-based guideline for the treatment of obesity.

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  • 1Institute of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Cologne, Germany.



To present the development process, summarize the content and discuss the implications of the German evidence-based guideline for the treatment of obesity.


The target audience and the development process were defined by a multidisciplinary team of experts. A systematic search of the literature was performed to identify relevant clinical articles. The validity of published studies was systematically evaluated. After developing the draft, an external peer review process was initiated.


Three versions of the guideline were published; an expert version, a short version tailored to primary care physicians and a patient version supporting patient participation in the decision-making process. Total development, printing and distribution costs xvere estimated to be 300,000 Euro.


The guideline raises the awareness of obesity and related comorbidities in Germany and may improve the quality of care for obese patients. The development process could serve as an efficient model for other guideline developers.

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