gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Beyond clinical and cost effectiveness: how to address health equity in clinical guidelines

Meeting Abstract

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  • L. Bickerdike - National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health, London, UK
  • E. Fields - National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health, London, UK
  • V. Welch - Campbell and Cochrane Equity Methods Group, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocWS09

doi: 10.3205/12gin030, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin0301

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Bickerdike 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: Inequalities in health which are both unnecessary and avoidable are termed health inequalities [1]. While equalities and social value statements can be addressed in clinical guidelines alongside clinical and cost effectiveness, the implementation of this approach can be questioned as Dans et al. found guidelines rarely focus on equity [2]. This workshop will examine how equity can be considered, and inequity not exacerbated, by clinical guidelines.


Consider the need for guidelines to address equity.
Define stages of development where equity should be considered.
Develop ideas for how to consider equity in guidelines.

Target group/suggest audience: All clinical guideline developers.

Description of workshop and of methods used to facilitate interactions: We will outline the differences between equality and equity and in group discussion explore the global need for clinical guidelines that consider equity. Small group work will be used to identify guideline development stages where equity should be considered and the methods available at each stage. We will examine how the NICE equalities scheme informs the consideration of equity in NICE guidelines for women's health. Closing group discussion will be used to develop ideas for considering equity during development and implementation of guidelines.


Welch V, Tugwell P, Petticrew M, de Montigny J, Ueffing E, Kristjansson B, McGowan J, Benkhalti Jandu M, Wells GA, Brand K, Smylie J. How effects on health equity are assessed in systematic reviews of interventions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(12):MR000028. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.MR000028.pub2 External link
Dans AM, Dans L, Oxman AD, Robinson V, Acuin J, Tugwell P, Dennis R, Kang D. Assessing equity in clinical practice guidelines. J Clin Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;60(6):540-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2006.10 External link