MUSM Libraries: Evaluating a PRACTICE GUIDELINE article

Validity issues | Key characteristics  | Finding articles

Validity issues

Are the recommendations valid?

  1. Did the recommendations consider all relevant patient groups, management options, and possible outcomes?
  2. Is there a systematic review of evidence linking options to outcomes for each relevant question?
  3. Is each of its recommendations both tagged by the level of evidence upon which it is based and linked to a specific citation?
  4. Do the authors indicate the strength of their recommendations?

What are the results?

  1. What are the key recommendations?

Will the results help you in caring for your patient?

  1. Do the recommendations make sense in your practice setting?

Key characteristics

Clinical Practice Guidelines are systematically developed statements designed to assist practitioners and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.

Key Characteristics:

Values are the basis for personal preferences concerning different clinical outcomes.

Grades of Recommendations:
(JAMA 1995 274:1800-1804)

Finding articles about practice guidelines

PubMed for Handhelds (Memorial On-Campus/Remote One and Mercer On-Campus access)
PubMed for Handhelds (Mercer Off-Campus access)


From: Guyatt, G. Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: Essentials of Evidence-based Clinical Practice. AMA Press, 2002 and Straus. Evidence-Based Medicine. How to Practice and Teach EBM. Churchill-Livingstone, 3rd edition, 2005 (pocket cards).

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