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Gac Sanit. 2012 Mar;26 Suppl 1:113-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

[Clinical practice guidelines and primary care. SESPAS report 2012].

[Article in Spanish]

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Agencia de Evaluación de Tecnologías Sanitarias de Galicia, Consellería de Sanidade, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, España.


Clinical practice guidelines are intended to serve as a bridge between the decision levels and the sources of knowledge, giving decision makers the best synthesis of scientific evidence and an analysis of context, to provide elements of judgement and to transfer scientific knowledge into clinical practice. However, the actual impact on health care is variable and effectiveness in changing medical practice, moderate. Qualitative and quantitative studies show that most primary care physicians consider that the guides are a valuable source of advice and training and a kind of improving the quality of healthcare. However, they underline its rigidity, the difficulty to apply to individual patients and that their main goal is to reduce healthcare costs. In Spain, there are several experiences as GuíaSalud in developing clinical practice guidelines aimed specifically at primary care. However, the proper implementation of a clinical practice guideline includes not only the quality and thoroughness of the evidence, but the credibility of professionals and organizations and other contextual factors such as characteristics of patients, providers and organizations or systems. An important step in future research is to develop a better theoretical understanding of organizational change that is required for management and professionals to give appropriate guidance to the implementation of the clinical practice guidelines.

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