Have We Drawn the Wrong Conclusions About the Value of Care Pathways? Is a Cochrane Review Appropriate?

Kris Vanhaecht*, John Ovretveit, Martin J. Elliott, Walter Sermeus, John Ellershaw, Massimiliano Panella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Care pathways are used increasingly worldwide to organize patient care. However, different views exist about their effectiveness. One of the reasons for this is that pathways are complex interventions. A recent Cochrane review was published which reported positive results, but although the Cochrane team performed excellent work with an enormous commitment, the conclusions may be inappropriate. To fully understand the potential and problems of care pathways, it is important to define (a) exactly what we are talking about (b) whether the study methods are appropriate, and (c) whether we can properly define the outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-42
Number of pages15
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • care process
  • clinical pathway
  • Cochrane review
  • complex intervention
  • critical pathway

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