gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

International cooperation in guideline development: experiences of the Netherlands

Meeting Abstract

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  • D. van Duin - Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute), Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • M. Hermens - Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute), Utrecht, the Netherlands

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocO64

doi: 10.3205/12gin096, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin0960

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 van Duin 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: When developing clinical guidelines, every country summarizes the international literature itself. To save time and to develop guidelines with a broader scope, countries could join forces. In 2010 and 2011, the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) of the United Kingdom, collaborated on the development of a clinical guideline on Autism Spectrum Condition.

Context: Guideline development is organized differently in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. There are differences in the number of guideline development organizations per country, in the way (medical) professionals are organized and involved in the developing process, in the size of the budgets for guideline development, in the methods for summarizing the international literature, and in methods for project management.

Description of best practice: Both countries used the same scope and clinical questions for the guideline. The United Kingdom took the lead in the definition of the scope and clinical questions, the Netherlands followed their choices and adopted their methodological, and project management methods. The guideline recommendations were made independently, taking into account the differences in health care organization in the two countries. The guideline of the Netherlands was commissioned by the Netherlands Psychiatric Association.

Lessons for guideline developers: The Netherlands learned the following: Communication is essential; Take time to implement new skills or tools; Use the same technical methods; Always be aware of differences in context.