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CMAJ. 1995 Dec 1;153(11):1575-81.

Evaluation of clinical practice guidelines.

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  • 1Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario, North York.


Compared with the current focus on the development of clinical practice guidelines the effort devoted to their evaluation is meagre. Yet the ultimate success of guidelines depends on routine evaluation. Three types of evaluation are identified: evaluation of guidelines under development and before dissemination and implementation, evaluation of health care programs in which guidelines play a central role, and scientific evaluation, through studies that provide the scientific knowledge base for further evolution of guidelines. Identification of evaluation and program goals, evaluation design and a framework for evaluation planning are discussed.

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