Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) can be adapted to local conditions to prevent any resources from being wasted. Adaptation of CPGs implies a systematic view of developed guidelines through maintaining evidence-based principles in order to find the ones most relevant with patients’ conditions and its integration with the cultural and regional requirements of the target population and health system facilities. The main purpose of the study was to describe, interpret and compare different frameworks for adaptation of clinical guidelines and proposing a comprehensive framework for Iran.


This study was based on a review and comparative analysis of adaptation frameworks of CPGs. Initially, all adaptation frameworks were collected by systematic search in the literature. We searched the following electronic databases: PubMed, Scopus, Trip Database, Science Direct, and Google Scholar. Then, based on the stages of the comparative study, frameworks were described, interpreted, juxtaposed, and compared. Finally, a comprehensive framework for the adaptation of clinical guidelines was proposed by consulting a panel of experts.


Our literature search resulted in 26 frameworks, of which 18 were potentially relevant. Based on inclusion/exclusion criteria, nine frameworks were included in the study and have been described, interpreted, and compared. The proposed comprehensive framework for the adaptation of clinical guidelines consists of ten main steps.


The proposed comprehensive framework is an appropriate tool for the adaptation of clinical guidelines in Iran that can be used in other countries. However, further validation of the framework requires case studies and expert consultation to determine its application to the adaptation of clinical guidelines.


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