Background to the mapping

IPCRG member countries have different approaches to clinical guidelines for use by primary care practitioners for chronic lung conditions.* Some countries have developed their own clinical respiratory guidelines at the national level (referred to here as national guidelines), others use international guidelines in full or summary form and several are in the early stages of developing national guidelines. Amongst those countries that have developed national guidelines, some have developed guidelines especially for use in primary care and others have broader guidelines for all health care providers including hospitals and specialist clinics. 

The IPCRG undertakes mapping to systematically collect and present information on national guidelines used by primary care for the chronic lung conditions commonly found in primary care: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, allergic rhinitis, community acquired pneumonia (CAP), obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and support for stopping smoking.


The overall aim of the mapping is to create a resource on the IPCRG web platform that enables members easily and quickly to share information and learning about national clinical guidelines used by primary care for COPD, asthma, allergic rhinitis, CAP, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), and stop smoking. Members can use this resource to search for information on a specific topic or on a particular country or a combination of topic and country.  The IPCRG anticipates that it will also be useful for health care planners developing national action plans for chronic lung conditions. 

This resource is designed to support IPCRG members reviewing existing clinical guidelines or developing new ones in their own country. In particular, it enables them:

  • To access easily guidelines from other countries;
  • To learn about approaches to guidelines that are used in different IPCRG countries;
  • To learn about the methodology applied  in the development of guidelines, which national agency leads the process, the evidence base used and how guidelines are evaluated;
  • To access published information about the implementation and effectiveness of guidelines;
  • To see which IPCRG countries have most recently developed or updated guidelines;
  • To learn how other IPCRG countries have included primary care perspectives in the development of guidelines;
  • To find a contact in that country who can provide more information about the guidelines;
  • To explore how international guidelines and tools such as GINA and GOLD are used at national levels.
  • To promote debate and share learning about guidelines between IPCRG members.

This mapping does not include analysis of the implementation or effectiveness of the guidelines, although it does include links to such analyses where they have been identified. 

Summary analysis of the guidelines identified

An IPCRG position paper which provides a snap shot analysis of the key features of the guidelines included in the mapping in June 2013 has been prepared and is available here IPCRG position paper 2.pdf.



To ensure this resource remains relevant and useful, it will be updated as new information becomes available and additional countries will be added.  Key contacts from each IPCRG country who have submitted the data are able to edit it at any time. 

IPCRG would welcome information for countries that are not currently included. If you want to submit information for a country not yet covered by the mapping, please express your interest by e-mailing The IPCRG will then contact you with details about how to provide information.

*The Institute of Medicine defines clinical guidelines as “systematically developed statements to assist practitioner and patient decision about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances”. Lohr KN. Institute of Medicine activities related to the development of practical guidelines. Journal of Dental Education 1990;54(11):699–704.