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Redesigning the Guideline Development Concept (“Zehnstufenplan”) of the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2010.0019

german translation / full article

Ferdinand Michael Gerlach, Erika Baum, Jean-François Chenot, Anja Wollny, Martin Scherer, Martin Beyer

Keywords: clinical practice guidelines guideline development

Abstract: Since 1999 the German project for the development of guidelines for family medicine has been guided by a systematic plan from the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians (DEGAM), which describes ten methodological steps in guideline development (“Zehnstufenplan”). Key elements are the systematic search for and critical appraisal of evidence, the provision of specific implementation modules for general practitioners, practice team, and patients, and an obligatory pilot test of the guideline. In view of new and rising standards in the methodological quality of guidelines (as proposed e. g. in the AGREE instrument) and considering current experience in the development of fourteen guidelines, DEGAM has adapted the ten step plan. Main new elements are a regular formal consensus process with specialist societies and enhanced measures of quality improvement. The plan will guarantee guidelines of high quality which, at the same, should be feasable in their development.


(State: 20.10.2010)

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