The Dutch chaos case: A scoping review of knowledge and decision support tools available to clinicians in the Netherlands

Dunja Dreesens*, Leontien Kremer, Trudy van der Weijden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background: To keep clinicians up-to-date with the latest evidence, clinical practice and patient preferences, more and more knowledge tools-aiming to synthesise knowledge and support (shared) decision-making-are being developed. Unfortunately, it seems that in the Netherlands, and possibly elsewhere, the amount of different knowledge tool types makes it difficult to see the forest through the trees.

Methods: A scoping review, exploring types of knowledge tools available to Dutch clinicians (and patients) and how these tools are described. The search terms were collected from thesauri and textbooks, and used to search the websites and documents of selected national tool developing organisations.

Results: The review yielded 126 tool types. We included 67 different tool types, such as guidelines, protocols, standards and clinical pathways. Half of those tool types were aimed at clinicians, 14 at patients and 18 at both. In general, descriptions of the tool types were hard to find or incomplete.

Conclusions: There exists a myriad of knowledge tool types and their descriptions are mostly unclear. The information overload experienced by clinicians is not addressed effectively by developing numerous unclearly defined knowledge tools. We recommend limiting the number of tool types and making a greater effort in clearly defining them. This abundance of poorly defined tools does not seem to be restricted to the Netherlands. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1297
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Guidelines
  • Tools
  • Knowledge
  • (Shared) decision-making
  • Definitions
  • Review
  • AIDS

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