Considerable resources are being expended internationally on the development of clinical practice guidelines. Although consensus is increasing about methods for developing evidence-based guidelines, less attention has been paid to the process for assessing when guidelines should be updated. The most common advice is for guidelines to include a scheduled review date. This could result in wasted resources, however, if a full update is undertaken prematurely in a slowly evolving field, or in guidelines in a rapidly evolving field becoming out of date before the scheduled review. Some guidelines state that they should be updated when new information becomes available. It is unclear, however, how this should be done, and we are unaware of any systematic attempts to devise a method. In this paper we propose a set of principles and a pragmatic model for assessing whether guidelines need to be updated.
Reprinted with permission from British Medical Journal, Vol. 323, No. 7305, July 21, 2001, pp. 155-157. Copyright © 2001 British Medical Journal Publishing Group.
Originally published in: British Medical Journal, Vol. 323, No. 7305, July 21, 2001, pp. 155-157.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.