The ADAPTE methodology


The ADAPTE methodology is exhaustively presented in the ADAPTE manual, being accompanied by a resource toolkit [1]. The methods aim to suit the needs of a broad range of stakeholders (from novices to those experienced with guideline development and groups with lesser or greater resources). The key aspects are summarized below.

The adaptation process basically consists of three main phases, each with a set of modules (see Figure on next page):

  • Set-up Phase: Outlines the necessary tasks to be completed prior to beginning the adaptation process (e.g., identifying necessary skills and resources).

  • Adaptation Phase: Assists users through the process of selecting a topic to identifying specific health questions; searching for and retrieving guidelines; assessing the consistency of the evidence and the guideline quality, currency, content, and applicability; decision making around adaptation; and preparing the draft adapted guideline.

  • Final Phase: Guides the user through the process of obtaining feedback on the document from stakeholders impacted by the guideline, consulting with the developers of source guidelines used in the adaptation process, establishing a process for the review and updating of the adapted guideline, and creating a final document.

The ADAPTE process is supported by resources to facilitate its application. Each module of the resource toolkit provides a detailed description of the steps, the products and deliverables, and the skills and organizational requirements.

At the KCE, a summary of the evidence on which the recommendations are based is usually provided in tables, and until now all selected guidelines were updated with more recent evidence. This may not always be necessary, and under time constraints experts in the field could be consulted to see if there are recent developments, provided that the search date of the guideline is not to old.


[1] Can be downloaded from the G-I-N website at