GRADE-ADOLOPMENT of clinical practice guidelines and creation of clinical pathways for the primary care management of chronic respiratory conditions in Pakistan

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan; Medicine; Diabetes/Endocrinology and Metabolism; Pulmonary and Critical Care; General Surgery


Introduction: In Pakistan, chronic respiratory conditions contribute a large burden of morbidity and mortality. A major reason for this is the lack of availability of local evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (EBCPGs) in Pakistan, particularly at the primary care level. Thus, we developed EBCPGs and created clinical diagnosis and referral pathways for the primary care management of chronic respiratory conditions in Pakistan.
Methods: The source guidelines were selected by two local expert pulmonologists after a thorough literature review on PubMed and Google Scholar from 2010 to December 2021. The source guidelines covered idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders, and bronchiectasis. The GRADE-ADOLOPMENT process consists of three key elements: adoption (using recommendations as is or with minor changes), adaptation (effective context-specific changes to recommendations) or additions (including new recommendations to fill a gap in the EBCPG). We employed the GRADE-ADOLOPMENT process to adopt, adapt, adopt with minor changes, or exclude recommendations from a source guideline. Additional recommendations were added to the clinical pathways based on a best-evidence review process.
Results: 46 recommendations were excluded mainly due to the unavailability of recommended management in Pakistan and scope beyond the practice of general physicians. Clinical diagnosis and referral pathways were designed for the four chronic respiratory conditions, explicitly delineating the role of primary care practitioners in the diagnosis, basic management, and timely referral of patients. Across the four conditions, 18 recommendations were added (seven for IPF, three for bronchiectasis, four for COPD, and four for asthma).
Conclusion: The widespread use of the newly created EBCPGs and clinical pathways in the primary healthcare system of Pakistan can help alleviate the morbidity and mortality related to chronic respiratory conditions disease in the country.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Pulmonary Medicine