n South African Medical Journal - South African Guidelines Excellence (SAGE) : clinical practice guidelines - quality and credibility : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Over the past 15 years, the processes for developing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have shifted from their being written by experts (or based on expert opinion) to being largely written by methodologists. CPGs are quality improvement tools, and although they are presented in different ways, their aims are commonly to standardise care, improve its quality and safety, reduce wastage, decrease unnecessary costs, and improve access to care and patient outcomes. With the emergence of international collaborations such as the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N), there have been concerted attempts to standardise CPG writing practices across countries, to increase the credibility of the final products. Without adherence to rigorous guideline development and reporting standards, the considerable time and effort put into developing guidelines may be wasted, as intended users may not have confidence in the recommendations made.

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