The development, implementation and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries: a systematic review of literature

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Rationale, aims and objectives

Our aim was to examine and describe the current situation in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries regarding the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines (CPG). The objectives were to describe from where the studies originated, what the clinical focus was of each study and examine the methodology and the status of each study (i.e. development, dissemination, implementation and evaluation).


Review of literature – two stages: stage 1: screening through an abstract review, followed by independent adjudicator; stage 2: detailed assessment and classification.


Considering the widespread acceptance that CPG's are useful and effective tools for quality improvement in health care, it is worth noting that relatively few studies have been conducted in the GCC region that examine CPG. Furthermore, the reviewers found that the quality of the research methods used could be improved. The majority of the studies that were conducted evaluated the effects of guidelines and focused on the ‘lifestyle diseases’, in particular diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is also worth noting that there has been a steady increase in the number of publications over the 10 years period.


More attention needs to be given to developing, disseminating, implementing and evaluating CPG's in the GCC region in order to improve the quality and safety of health care.

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