In clinical research, the term protocol refers to the assorted information related to a scientific study. This information includes the justification for the research, as well as its planning, objectives, methodologies, procedures, treatments, duration and expected results. The protocol has, also, an explanatory term for volunteers, in simple, accessible language, containing the main body of information on the research.
Aside from that, the term “protocol” has been used in medicine as a synonym of treatment guidelines. Treatment guidelines are documents whose goal is to guide and standardize a given illness’ management, and they might include strategies for tracking, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. As a rule, treatment guidelines are created based on the best scientific knowledge available, originating from high impact clinical research results. Medicine practices based on solid scientific information and treatment guidelines has been called evidence-based medicine.