Introduction to clinical practice guidelines
Antoniou, Stavros A.
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Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) consist of recommendations developed to support specific clinical encounters. Their actionable messages intend to guide best practice. CPGs are distinct from clinical pathways. Beyond clinicians and patients, CPGs can influence policy, identify limitations in a body of research, guide resources, and define quality indicators. They have the potential to decrease unwanted variation in practice, and better inform patients; their implementation likely produces improved overall outcomes. CPGs are becoming more popular and integrated to practice, including surgery. Tools exist to guide their applications, and it is important that surgeons are familiar with their appraisal. This chapter provides a guide to readers on evaluating a clinical practice guideline in surgery.