gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Impact of the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC)

Meeting Abstract

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  • M. Nix - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., USA
  • M. Tregear - AFYA, Inc., Laurel, MD, USA
  • C. Simon - The Lewin Group, Falls Church, VA, USA
  • J. Marshall - The Lewin Group, Falls Church, VA, USA

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocO01

doi: 10.3205/12gin033, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin0334

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Nix 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: Wanting to understand the influence the National Guideline Clearinghouse (TM) (NGC) has had on guideline development, dissemination, and implementation & use, the NGC sponsor commissioned a scientifically-grounded evaluation of its flagship guideline resource.

Objectives: To evaluate how NGC: is used by different stakeholders; supports the development, implementation, and dissemination of evidence-based guidelines; and, can be improved.

Methods: An environmental scan and stakeholder input were used to develop a logic model that defined key research questions and outcomes of interest. A mixed-methods approach was used (survey, focus groups and interviews) to collect data.

Results: Awareness of NGC in 2011 was substantially higher than in 2001, however 22% of participants remained unaware. Most participants use multiple sources to find guidelines, however NGC was often cited as a 'first go-to source.' There were differences among stakeholder groups on the trustworthiness of guidelines included in NGC. Most participants think that the 5-year age criterion is too long.

Discussion: Limitations of the evaluation included: the survey sampling frame was not random; survey solicitation methods may have introduced bias; and a low response rate. Therefore, survey findings cannot be generalized to all NGC stakeholders. Additionally, the majority of focus group participants and interviewees were users of NGC. A larger sample of non-users may have produced different results.

Implications: Guideline developer participation in NGC increases chances that guidelines will be found. Advancing NGC's impact could include building the user base and spreading knowledge about trustworthy guideline development.