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November 1997

American Academy of Dermatology Guidelines of Care: Development and Process

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City (Dr Drake), the American Academy of Dermatology, Chicago, Ill (Ms Lowery), and the Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Drake, Yale, and Gillies and Ms Dunbar).

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(11):1369-1374. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890470043007

Medical practice guidelines are being developed at an accelerating pace, in all areas of medicine, for a wide range of uses. The field of practice guideline development is not new, but a number of important economic and health care issues have renewed interest in their creation. In 1987, in response to many of these issues, the American Academy of Dermatology took a leadership role and began a process designed to develop guidelines for disease entities treated by dermatologists. The result was a set of clinical practice guidelines and the most comprehensive dermatology guideline development processes to date. Herein we describe the guideline development process in its current, refined form and discuss some of its unique and important characteristics. New applications of guidelines, outside of clinical practice improvement, have made their development controversial. Nevertheless, it is important for the medical profession to lead in this effort, and the American Academy of Dermatology continues to explore ways to refine and update its guidelines to reflect the latest medical science and technology. Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:1369-1374