gms | German Medical Science

G-I-N Conference 2012

Guidelines International Network

22.08 - 25.08.2012, Berlin

Qualitative methods in guideline research

Meeting Abstract

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  • K. Daniels - Medical Research Council of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
  • A. Abrams - Medical Research Council of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
  • S. Lewin - Medical Research Council of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa; Global Health Unit, Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services, Oslo, Norway

Guidelines International Network. G-I-N Conference 2012. Berlin, 22.-25.08.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocP079

doi: 10.3205/12gin191, urn:nbn:de:0183-12gin1919

Published: July 10, 2012

© 2012 Daniels 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 and health systems guidelines are developed by people, they are used by people, in treating people and in shaping health systems. Thus they are socially constructed, requiring more research input than quantitative evidence alone can yield. Qualitative research can be particularly useful in informing this social aspect of guideline development and implementation. Before implementing a guideline, qualitative research may be used to gain an understanding of local conditions so as to adapt the guidelines to the setting. It may also be used prospectively in stakeholder analysis so as to gain an understanding of how relevant players (such as hospital administrators, or health workers) might receive these guidelines. Qualitative research may be used to evaluate how implemented guidelines have been received, particularly looking at the barriers and facilitators to such implementation. With the increased availability of systematic reviews of qualitative evidence, these too might be used to inform all stages of guideline development and implementation.

Objective: In this workshop we hope to introduce the audience to the range and benefits of qualitative research for guideline development, implementation and evaluation.

Target audience: Guideline developers, researchers, implementers.

Description: This interactive workshop will cover the following:

  • Introduction, through practical examples, to the use of qualitative methods in guideline development (Presentation)
  • Participants identify and discuss topics and questions, related to the development, implementation and evaluation of guidelines that would benefit from qualitative research (Small Groups)
  • Discuss methodological approaches to the topics identified in the small groups (Open plenary discussion)