Bulletin du Cancer


Taking into account economic criterias for the clinical practice guidelines in oncology Volume 85, issue 3, Mars 1998


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Clinical practice guidelines have been defined as “systematically developed statements to assist practitioners and patients in their decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances”. Their objectives are to improve the quality of health care and to optimise the use of limited health care resources. However reduction of unnecessary costs of delivered health care is proceed most often in an implicit way by identifying inappropriate health care strategies. The increase of health care costs needs to look at this issue in a more explicit way and to consider costs in the guideline development process. The key objective of our study is to analyse the methodological aspects of dealing with cost issues in the guideline development process. The integration of cost issues is in fact limited by two major problems: first, the lack of economic evaluation for many strategies in the scientific literature and second, the lack of generalizability of the published results to temporally and/or geographically different settings. These difficulties are likely to result in the need for local cost evaluation (for a given setting), and though to make the guideline development process much more complex. Further methodological research is important to define the role of economic evaluation in clinical practice guidelines and to enable the integration of cost issues into the guideline development process. They should go closely together with international standardisation of the methodology for designing, conducting and reporting economic evaluation.