Evidence based clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements that assist the practitioner and person affected by cancer to make decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances. They collate the best available evidence to underpin scientifically-valid recommendations for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In the area of cancer control in Australia, evidence based clinical guidelines have been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Cancer Australia, and Cancer Council Australia.
From the perspective of an SCN, evidence based practice requires an understanding of the evidence base underpinning various cancer treatments. Also important to evidence based practice is the SCN's advanced level of knowledge regarding the evidence base underpinning nursing intervention.
In addition to the clinical guidelines for treatment of specific cancer, a number of useful sources provide evidence based guidelines to inform core domains of SCN practice. Examples include:
Resources developed to support practitioners to use and appraise evidence to improve local cancer control efforts in line with national best practice:
- Taking action locally: eight steps to putting cancer guidelines into practice(PDF, 871KB). National Institute of Clinical Studies, 200616
- The NICS Barrier Tool(PDF, 37KB). National Institute of Clinical Studies17
Access the article Development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for best practice: Towards better outcomes(PDF, 579KB)18 , and summarise the benefits and concerns which have been expressed regarding the use of clinical practice guidelines in clinical care.
Using evidence based guidelines, summarise treatment recommendations for an individual diagnosed with cancer in your practice setting. If you are unable to identify a suitable patient from your practice setting, choose one of the following:
- Locally advanced / high risk prostate cancer – de novo presentation (clinical stage T3-4, and /or early-stage disease with PSA>20).
- Stage II operable Non-small cell lung cancer.
Reflect on the extent to which evidence based clinical guidelines are implemented in your practice setting and the reasons for this.
Review Taking action locally: Eight steps to putting cancer guidelines into practice(PDF, 871KB)16 and the NICS Barrier Tool(PDF, 37KB)17 and:
- Identify challenges and strengths which may impede or assist the implementation of evidence based guidelines in your practice setting.