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General medicine
A unique framework for the Persian clinical guidelines: addressing an evidence-based CDSS development need


Background and aim One of the prerequisites to develop Computerised Decision Support Systems is Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) which provide a systematic aid to make complex medical decisions. In order to provide an automated CPG, it is needed to have a unique structure for the CPGs. This study aims to propose a unique framework for the Persian guidelines.

Materials and methods 20 Persian CPGs were selected and divided into the creation and validation sets (n=10 for each). The first group was studied independently and their headings were listed; wherever possible, the headings were merged into a new heading that was applicable to all the guidelines. The developed framework was validated by the second group of the guidelines.

Results Studied guidelines had a very heterogeneous structure. The number of original headings was 249; they were reduced to 14 main headings with 16 subheadings in a unique developed framework. The framework is able to represent and cover 100% of the guidelines.

Conclusion The heterogeneity of guidelines was high as they were not developed based on the unique framework. The proposed framework provides a layout for designing the CPGs with a homogeneous structure. Guideline developers can use this framework to develop structured CPGs. This will facilitate the integration of the guidelines into electronic medical records as well as clinical decision support systems.

  • protocols & guidelines
  • clinical practice guidelines
  • clinical decision support
  • framework
  • implementation
  • CDSS

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