Aeyels, D., Van Vugt, S., Sinnaeve, P., Panella, M., Van Zelm, R., Sermeus, W., Vanhaecht, K. (2015). Lack of evidence and standardization in care pathway documents for patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Van Houdt, S., Sermeus, W., Vanhaecht, K., De Lepeleire, J. (2014). Focus groups to explore healthcare professionals’ experiences of care coordination: towards a theoretical framework for the study of care coordination. BMC Family Practice, 15 (177), doi:10.1186/s12875-014-0177-6.

Seys, D., Deneckere, S., Sermeus, W., Van Gerven, E., Panella, M., Bruyneel, L., Mutsvari, T., Camacho Bejarano, R., Kul, S., Vanhaecht, K. (2013). The Care Process Self-Evaluation Tool: a valid and reliable instrument for measuring care process organization of health care teams. BMC Health Services Research, 13, 325.

Panella M, Van Zelm R, Sermeus W, Vanhaecht K. Care pathways for the organization of patients’ care. Bulletin: economics, organisation and informatics in healthcare 2012; 28(2): 111-122 / doi: 10.2478/v10221-011-0026-z

Lodewijckx, C., Sermeus, W., Panella, M., Deneckere, S., Leigheb, F., Troosters, T., Boto, P., Mendes, R., Decramer, M., Vanhaecht, K. (2013). Quality indicators for in-hospital management of exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: results of an international Delphi study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69 (2), 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06013.x, 348-362.

Deneckere, S., Euwema, M., Lodewijckx, C., Panella, M., Mutsvari, T., Sermeus, W., Vanhaecht, K. (2013). Better interprofessional teamwork, higher level of organized care, and lower risk of burnout in acute healthcare teams using care pathways: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Medical Care, 51 (1), doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e3182763312, 99-107.

Vanhaecht, K., Sermeus, J., Peers, J., Lodewijckx, C., Deneckere, S., Leigheb, F., Boonen, S., Sermon, A., Boto, P., Mendes, R., Panella, M., For The Eqcp Study Group (2012). The impact of care pathways for patients with proximal femur fracture: rationale and design of a cluster-randomized controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research, 12 (124).

Deneckere, S., Euwema, M., Panella, M., Lodewijckx, C., Sermeus, W., Vanhaecht, K. (2012). The European quality of care pathways (EQCP) study on the impact of care pathways on interprofessional teamwork in an acute hospital setting: study protocol: for a cluster randomised controlled trial and evaluation of implementation processes.. Implementation Science, 7 (47), 1-12.

Vanhaecht K, Panella M, Van Zelm R, Sermeus W. An overview on the history and concept of care pathways as complex interventions. Int J Care Pathways 2010;14,117-123


EQCP study

The European Quality of Care Pathways study is an international Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial on the effect of care pathways for COPD and Fractured Neck of Femus patients (with unrestricted grant from Phizer). The study was performed in Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. We have measured process and clinical outcomes on patient level and also included also indicators on the teamwork.

The following research fellows have performed a PhD study within the EQCP project:

  • Mrs. Cathy Lodewijckx, PhD: The impact of care pathways for COPD patients.
  • Dr. Fabrizio Leigheb, PhD: The impact of care pathways for proximal femur fracture patients.
  • Mr. Svin Deneckere, PhD: The impact of care pathways on teamwork.
  • Mrs. Deborah Seys, PhD candidate: The impact of care pathways on variation of care.


The Care Pathway for Acute Coronary Syndrome is a controlled interupted time series design study on the impact of care pathways for ST-elevated myocardial infarction (with unrestricted grant from Astra Zeneca Belgium).


This is a research and quality improvement study on care pathways for surgical patients with nutrition problems in surgical gastro intestinal cancer (with unrestricted grant from Baxter EMEA, Baxter Belgium, France, Netherlands and Germany)


Prevalence and use of clinical pathways in 23 countries — an international survey by the European Pathway Association


Objectives. To give an overview on the use and prevalence of clinical pathways.

Design. Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Study participants. European Pathway Association contact persons in 23 countries.

Results. Clinical pathways, also known as critical pathways or integrated-care pathways have been used in health care for 20 years. Although clinical pathways are well established, little information exists on their use and dissemination around the world. The European Pathway Association ( has performed their first international survey on the use and dissemination of clinical pathways in 23 countries. At present, pathways are used with a minority of patients, mainly in acute hospital trusts. Our survey showed that clinical pathways were predominantly viewed as a multidisciplinary tool to improve the quality and efficiency of evidence-based care. Pathways were also used as a communication tool between professionals to manage and standardise outcome-oriented care.

Conclusions. There is a future for the use of clinical pathways, but there is need for international benchmarking and knowledge sharing with regards to their development, implementation, and evaluation.

If you use these results in your papers or presentations, please refer to the survey correctly as:

Kris Vanhaecht, Marcus Bollmann, Kathy Bower, Clare Gallagher, Andrea Gardini, Jen Guezo, Uwe Jansen, Rashad Massoud, Karen Moody, Walter Sermeus, Ruben Van Zelm, Claire Whittle, Anne-Marie Yazbeck, Karen Zander, Massimiliano Panella (2006). Prevalence and use of clinical pathways in 23 countries — an international survey by the European Pathway Association ( Journal of Integrated Care Pathways, 10, 28-34.