The Guideline Approach to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: How Effective?

Authors: Heffner, John E1; Ellis, Rosemary2

Source: Respiratory Care, Volume 48, Number 12, December 2003 , pp. 1257-1268(12)

Publisher: The Journal Respiratory Care Company

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Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed to assist health care decisions in specific clinical circumstances. They first arose to improve quality of care by decreasing unexplained practice variation, controlling health care costs, fostering evidence-based decision-making, and accelerating the application of new advances in medical science to everyday practice. Unfortunately, multiple studies demonstrate incomplete and varied effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines in altering clinician behavior and improving patient outcomes. Efforts to enhance guideline effectiveness have focused on improving the methods for guideline development, diffusion, dissemination, and implementation. Despite evidence of limited effectiveness, more than 40 clinical practice guidelines pertaining to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been published since 1985. The present article reviews those guidelines, evidence for their effectiveness, and approaches to improve their implementation.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety, Medical University of South Carolina, 169 Ashley Avenue, PO Box 250332, Charleston SC 29425;, Email: 2: Center for Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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