Focusing on a specific example from community care, this article argues that clinical guidelines will be better and more usable if they incorporate the findings of high-quality, qualitative research. We suggest the development and adoption of guidelines which take a holistic approach to the individual and their circumstances. These should take account of the best available evidence in terms of which treatments, devices or lifestyle changes are most effective in a particular instance, and how these are affected by the day-to-day life of patients. In so doing, clinical guidelines will become representative of the patient population to whom they relate and thus truly evidence based. We offer below one particular example of where the incorporation of qualitative evidence will improve the usability of clinical guidelines.