gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

‘Best practice’ or patient choice: how can clinical guidelines and patient decision aids unite to improve patient experience and care?

Meeting Abstract

  • T. van der Weijden - University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • G. Elwyn - University of Cardiff, Cardiff, UK
  • P. Chrisp - National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE), Manchester, UK
  • J. Cowl - National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE), Manchester, UK
  • V. Thomas - National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE), Manchester, UK

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocPS02

doi: 10.3205/12gin014, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin0142

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 van der Weijden et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Clinical guidelines present recommendations for best practice, according to the evidence-base, whereas patient decision aids (PDAs) offer the patients a series of treatment options. Can a patient make an informed choice from a single guideline recommendation? Do PDAs offer people enough information about what the evidence says results in the ‘best’ outcomes?

Objectives/Goal: To open up the debate about the relationship between PDAs and guidelines, and how these ‘products’ can work together to better enable patients to make informed decisions about their care.

Target group/Suggested audience: Guideline developers, PDA developers, clinicians, patients, researchers

Names of moderator and invited speakers:

  • Trudy van der Weijden, Professor for Implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines, University of Maastricht
  • Glyn Elwyn, Professor of General Practice, Cardiff University
  • Paul Chrisp, Associate Director: Accreditation, NICE
  • Jane Cowl, Programme Manager: Patient & Public Involvement Programme, NICE Description of session and speaker topics: Initial short presentations from the 4 speakers (5-7 mins each) exploring:
    • Role of guidelines and their relevance for a) patients and b) clinicians
    • Relationship between ‘recommendations’ and ‘options’
    • use of NICE guidelines and option grids as examples
    • Guidelines and PDAs: what does ‘good’ look like?

Followed by an open discussion with the audience. Key questions to consider will be:

    • Do patients and clinicians need different tools to support shared decision making?
    • When can guidelines present ‘options’ rather than ‘recommendations’?
    • Can we design and use evidence-based PDAs to complement evidence-based guidelines?