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Some information on other, recent, projects: DECIDE and a potential course opportunity.

From Robin Harbour, SIGN: the DECIDE project (Developing and Evaluating Communication Strategies to Support Informed Decisions and Practice Based on Evidence)

A collaboration led by the University of Dundee, UK, and the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services has been given €3 million by the EC’s 7th Framework Programme to improve the way healthcare evidence and recommendations are presented in guidelines.

Who is involved? The five-year project started in January 2011 and will build on the work of the GRADE Working Group.  It involves guideline producers such as NICE and SIGN, as well as the Cochrane Collaboration, groups such as Duodecim Medical Publications Ltd, and the World Health Organisation. By the end of the project, DECIDE will have produced a range of dissemination strategies that have been rigorously evaluated in diverse settings, supported the transfer of research into practice and are adapted to real-world healthcare systems.

Background. The guidance within guidelines may not be presented in a way that is easily used by different decision-makers, and DECIDE will work with them to develop and evaluate dissemination strategies that are tailored to their needs.  For example, earlier work done by DECIDE partners found that while policymakers were interested in precision, there was confusion around what the different numbers referred to.  Work with health professionals revealed difficulties with presenting continuous outcomes.

The project is being run in a series of work packages, each dealing with a different set of decision makers. Specific audiences addressed by the work packages are healthcare professionals; policy makers and managers; patients and the general public; and health system policy makers. Other packages look at communicating evidence-based decisions about diagnostic tests, and developing co-operation between European guideline developers and health technology assessment agencies.

Currently. Each work package has begun by brainstorming the key issues to be addressed, and then working with stakeholder groups to refine these ideas further and come up with potential strategies for improving communication in each of the areas addressed.

Key elements of the project are user-testing (what do guideline users think of the ideas coming from the brainstorming and stakeholder work) and evaluating potential strategies in trials.  The latter will involve randomising users (family doctors, say) to receive research evidence and recommendations presented in different ways and then measuring attitudes and understanding, among others.  This will be done in at least seven European countries.  At the end of this process, promising strategies will be tested in real guidelines.

Deliverables. Project results will be packaged into a toolkit for developing and disseminating evidence-based recommendations. Part of the package will be an updated version of GRADEPro, the tool used to generate GRADE Summary of Findings tables.  By developing and evaluating targeted dissemination strategies, DECIDE aims to increase the use of evidence-based interventions in a sustainable way and to reduce the use of interventions where benefits are uncertain.

For more details see, or contact Dr Shaun Treweek, University of Dundee, at


Developing Clinical Guidelines Course – A NCC-WCH short course on using NICE methodology to develop clinical guidelines

Courses on systematic reviewing are offered by a number of universities and centres worldwide. Linking the learning achieved in these courses with clinical guideline development is complex. Through expert-led sessions this course aims to shed light on this process by discussing:

  • the theory, purpose and practicalities of clinical guideline development
  • different approaches to the systematic synthesis of evidence
  • the quality appraisal of reviews
  • health economic modelling
  • the development of recommendations for clinical practice

This survey aims to explore the level of interest in the proposed short course “Developing Clinical Guidelines Course”. It will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

To access the survey please follow this link:

An overview of the results will be shared in a future issue of enGINe.

If you have any questions about the survey please email

As always the enGINe would like to know more about you!

Please get in touch to tell us about you, your organisation, your work programme, your ambitions. Perhaps even your problems – the G-I-N community could have the answers you are looking for!

Page last updated: Apr 14, 2011
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