Development and use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for thyroid disease

Ruth M. Belin, Paul W. Ladenson, Karen A. Robinson, Neil R. Powe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Clinical practice guidelines offer recommendations for optimizing health care. Guideline panels can rely on several methods for gathering information about current practice and synthesizing evidence that addresses specific questions. Clinical practice guidelines, including many that address thyroid disease, often rely on conventional narrative literature reviews and expert opinion rather than systematic evaluation of the published literature as the basis for their recommendations. This undermines the authority of practice guidelines and potentially results in disparate, invalid, or misleading recommendations. In contrast, incorporation of rigorous systematic reviews of literature and guidance by groups with multidisciplinary expertise decreases bias in evidence selection and increases precision of treatment effect estimates. Improved reliability and accuracy of evidence assessment, in turn, strengthens ultimate guideline recommendations. Costeffective analyses further contribute to useful clinical practice guidelines and may encourage the explicit acknowledgment of values and preferences. Valid recommendations, however, prove futile in the absence of implementation. Adherence to guidelines may be improved with integration of user-friendly computer applications into clinical practice. By overcoming barriers to implementation and addressing the limitations of current guidelines, endocrinologists can play an essential role in improving the quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of clinical practice related to thyroid disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-817
Number of pages23
JournalEndocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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