Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are evidence-based recommendations for best practice and have been developed with the assumption they will be embraced by practitioners; a further assumption is that clinical practice guidelines will improve the delivery of care. In this article, we provide a working definition of evidence-based practice, discuss the strengths and limitations of CPGs, describe the implementation of CPGs in the context of urinary incontinence, and consider the steps that the WOCN has taken to initiate evidence-based practice. Current issues are presented along with initiatives that have resulted in clinical practice guidelines on incontinence from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. On the basis of the current literature, it is concluded that clinical practice guidelines can play an important role in WOCN practice and that the implementation of guidelines may improve clinical practice. However, guidelines are only as valid as the evidence on which they are based and may not take into account gender or cultural differences or the effect that comorbid conditions can have on treatment outcomes. Finally, guidelines must follow a comprehensive approach that involves management and staff and includes education, facilitation, evaluation, feedback, and an understanding of change strategies.
|Journal||Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2001|