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1.  Modification of GEM to Accommodate Changes in a Classification Scheme 
Through this collaboration, we were able to integrate a proposed expansion of the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) guideline classification into the XML based Guideline Elements Model (GEM).1 2 We conclude that GEM, through its utilization of XML is flexible enough to accommodate externally developed concepts. We hope to use this result to expand upon a preliminary evaluation of the guideline classification using GEM tools.
PMCID: PMC2243695
2.  Using GEM-encoded guidelines to generate medical logic modules. 
Among the most effective strategies for changing the process and outcomes of clinical care are those that make use of computer-mediated decision support. A variety of representation models that facilitate computer-based implementation of medical knowledge have been published, including the Guideline Elements Model (GEM) and the Arden Syntax for Medical Logic Modules (MLMs). We describe an XML-based application that facilitates automated generation of partially populated MLMs from GEM-encoded guidelines. These MLMs can be further edited and shared among Arden-compliant information systems to provide decision support. Our work required three steps: (a) Knowledge extraction from published guideline documents using GEM, (b) Mapping GEM elements to the MLM slots, and (c) XSL transformation of the GEM-encoded guideline. Processing of a sample guideline generated 15 MLMs, each corresponding to a conditional or imperative element in the GEM structure. Mechanisms for linking various MLMs are necessary to represent the complexity of logic typical of a guideline.
PMCID: PMC2243667  PMID: 11825147
3.  GEM at 10: A Decade’s Experience with the Guideline Elements Model 
The Guideline Elements Model (GEM) was developed in 2000 to organize the information contained in clinical practice guidelines using XML and to represent guideline content in a form that can be understood by human readers and processed by computers. In this work, we systematically reviewed the literature to better understand how GEM was being used, potential barriers to its use, and suggestions for improvement. Fifty external and twelve internally produced publications were identified and analyzed. GEM was used most commonly for modeling and ontology creation. Other investigators applied GEM for knowledge extraction and data mining, for clinical decision support for guideline generation. The GEM Cutter software—used to markup guidelines for translation into XML— has been downloaded 563 times since 2000. Although many investigators found GEM to be valuable, others critiqued its failure to clarify guideline semantics, difficulties in markup, and the fact that GEM files are not usually executable.
PMCID: PMC3243287  PMID: 22195106
4.  A preliminary evaluation of guideline content mark-up using GEM--an XML guideline elements model. 
OBJECTIVE: To describe application of GEM to analysis and categorization of guideline content. METHOD: We examined the application of GEM constructs to the AAP guideline on neurodiagnostic evaluation of febrile seizures. Subjects at 4 sites marked-up the guideline content using a hierarchical template that includes branches for identity, developer, purpose, intended audience, method of development, knowledge components, testing, and review. The types of elements used were tabulated. Subjects were surveyed regarding the usability of the model. RESULTS: Eight subjects analyzed the guideline, using between 46 and 149 elements to model its content. There was considerable variation in the application of elements. The number of elements used correlated with time to complete the task. Subjects found application of GEM to be straightforward in 6 of 8 categories and sufficiently comprehensive to model the guideline's information content. CONCLUSIONS: Subjects found GEM constructs were able to model the content of the guideline. Improved editing tools will facilitate translation.
PMCID: PMC2243751  PMID: 11079916
5.  Embedding the Guideline Elements Model in Web Ontology Language 
The Guideline Elements Model (GEM) uses XML to represent the heterogeneous knowledge contained in clinical practice guidelines. GEM has important applications in computer aided guideline authoring and clinical decision support systems. However, its XML representation format could limit its potential impact, as semantic web ontology languages, such as OWL, are becoming major knowledge representation frameworks in medical informatics. In this work, we present a faithful translation of GEM from XML into OWL. This translation is intended to keep the knowledge model of GEM intact, as this knowledge model has been carefully designed and has become a recognized standard. An OWL representation would make GEM more applicable in medical informatics systems that rely on semantic web. This work will also be the initial step in making GEM a guideline recommendation ontology.
PMCID: PMC2815420  PMID: 20351934
6.  Bridging the Guideline Implementation Gap: A Systematic, Document-Centered Approach to Guideline Implementation 
Objective: A gap exists between the information contained in published clinical practice guidelines and the knowledge and information that are necessary to implement them. This work describes a process to systematize and make explicit the translation of document-based knowledge into workflow-integrated clinical decision support systems.
Design: This approach uses the Guideline Elements Model (GEM) to represent the guideline knowledge. Implementation requires a number of steps to translate the knowledge contained in guideline text into a computable format and to integrate the information into clinical workflow. The steps include: (1) selection of a guideline and specific recommendations for implementation, (2) markup of the guideline text, (3) atomization, (4) deabstraction and (5) disambiguation of recommendation concepts, (6) verification of rule set completeness, (7) addition of explanations, (8) building executable statements, (9) specification of origins of decision variables and insertions of recommended actions, (10) definition of action types and selection of associated beneficial services, (11) choice of interface components, and (12) creation of requirement specification.
Results: The authors illustrate these component processes using examples drawn from recent experience translating recommendations from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's guideline on management of chronic asthma into a workflow-integrated decision support system that operates within the Logician electronic health record system.
Conclusion: Using the guideline document as a knowledge source promotes authentic translation of domain knowledge and reduces the overall complexity of the implementation task. From this framework, we believe that a better understanding of activities involved in guideline implementation will emerge.
PMCID: PMC516249  PMID: 15187061
7.  An implementation framework for GEM encoded guidelines. 
Access to timely decision support information is critical for delivery of high-quality medical care. Transformation of clinical knowledge that is originally expressed in the form of a guideline to a computable format is one of the main obstacles to the integration of knowledge sharing functionality into computerized clinical systems. The Guideline Element Model (GEM) provides a methodology for such a transformation. Although the model has been used to store heterogeneous guideline knowledge, it is important to demonstrate that GEM markup facilitates guideline implementation. This report demonstrates the feasibility of implementation of GEM-encoded guideline recommendations using Apache Group s Cocoon Web Publishing Framework. We further demonstrate how XML-based programming allows for maintaining the separation of guideline content from processing logic and from presentation format. Finally, we analyze whether the guideline authors original intent has been sufficiently captured and conveyed to the end user.
PMCID: PMC2243348  PMID: 11825181
8.  Canadian Thoracic Society: Presenting a new process for clinical practice guideline production 
A key mandate of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) is to promote evidence-based respiratory care through clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). To improve the quality and validity of the production, dissemination and implementation of its CPGs, the CTS has revised its guideline process and has created the Canadian Respiratory Guidelines Committee to oversee this process. The present document outlines the basic methodological tools and principles of the new CTS guideline production process. Important features include standard methods for choosing and formulating optimal questions and for finding, appraising, and summarizing the evidence; use of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system for rating the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations; use of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation instrument for quality control during and after guideline development and for appraisal of other guidelines; use of the ADAPTE process for adaptation of existing guidelines to the local context; and use of the GuideLine Implementability Appraisal tool to augment implementability of guidelines. The CTS has also committed to develop guidelines in new areas, an annual guideline review cycle, and a new formal process for dissemination and implementation. Ultimately, it is anticipated that these changes will have a significant impact on the quality of care and clinical outcomes of individuals suffering from respiratory diseases across Canada.
PMCID: PMC2807796  PMID: 20011719
Clinical practice guideline; Evidence-based medicine; Guideline adherence; Practice guidelines
9.  GLIF3: the evolution of a guideline representation format. 
The Guideline Interchange Format (GLIF) is a language for structured representation of guidelines. It was developed to facilitate sharing clinical guidelines. GLIF version 2 enabled modeling a guideline as a flowchart of structured steps, representing clinical actions and decisions. However, the attributes of structured constructs were defined as text strings that could not be parsed, and such guidelines could not be used for computer-based execution that requires automatic inference. GLIF3 is a new version of GLIF designed to support computer-based execution. GLIF3 builds upon the framework set by GLIF2 but augments it by introducing several new constructs and extending GLIF2 constructs to allow a more formal definition of decision criteria, action specifications and patient data. GLIF3 enables guideline encoding at three levels: a conceptual flowchart, a computable specification that can be verified for logical consistency and completeness, and an implementable specification that can be incorporated into particular institutional information systems.
PMCID: PMC2243832  PMID: 11079963
10.  Representation of Clinical Nursing Protocols Using GEM II & GEM Cutter 
The machineable representation and execution of clinical guidelines has been the focus of research efforts for some time, however there is less examination of whether the methods and techniques for guidelines are sufficient for clinical protocols. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility of using the Guideline Elements Model II (GEM II) and GEM Cutter for the representation of clinical protocols, specifically clinical protocols commonly used by nurses. After downloading the GEM Cutter 2.5, we decomposed a set of clinical protocols and analyzed the completeness in which elemental protocol data was represented. One of the most complicated of these protocols (extravasations of infused medication) is presented as an example. While GEM II adequately represents core elements of clinical protocols at the high level, it was not possible to adequately represent sequence and associated role based permissions via use of conditional criteria at branching and procedural levels. Functionality of the tool would also be enhanced with more robust terminology management and support for multi-authoring.
PMCID: PMC3041417  PMID: 21347008
11.  A flexible approach to guideline modeling. 
We describe a task-oriented approach to guideline modeling that we have been developing in the EON project. We argue that guidelines seek to change behaviors by making statements involving some or all of the following tasks: (1) setting of goals or constraints, (2) making decisions among alternatives, (3) sequencing and synchronization of actions, and (4) interpreting data. Statements about these tasks make assumptions about models of time and of data abstractions, and about degree of uncertainty, points of view, and exception handling. Because of this variability in guideline tasks and assumptions, monolithic models cannot be custom tailored to the requirements of different classes of guidelines. Instead, we have created a core model that defines a set of basic concepts and relations and that uses different submodels to account for differing knowledge requirements. We describe the conceptualization of the guideline domain that underlies our approach, discuss components of the core model and possible submodels, and give three examples of specialized guideline models to illustrate how task-specific guideline models can be specialized and assembled to better match modeling requirements of different guidelines.
PMCID: PMC2232509  PMID: 10566393
12.  Quality of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e58625.
Several studies have reported that clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in a variety of clinical areas are of modest or variable quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of an international cohort of CPGs that provide recommendations on pharmaceutical management of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2).
Methods and Findings
We searched the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) on February 15th and June 4th, 2012 for CPGs meeting inclusion criteria. Two independent assessors rated the quality of each CPG using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation II (AGREE II) instrument. Twenty-four guidelines were evaluated, and most had high scores for clarity and presentation. However, scope and purpose, stakeholder involvement, rigor of development, and applicability domains varied considerably. The majority of guidelines scored low on editorial independence, and only seven CPGs were based on an underlying systematic review of the evidence.
The overall quality of CPGs for glycemic control in DM2 is moderate, but there is substantial variability among quality domains within and across guidelines. Guideline users need to be aware of this variability and carefully appraise and select the guidelines that they apply to patient care.
PMCID: PMC3618153  PMID: 23577058
13.  Is the methodological quality of guidelines declining in the US? Comparison of the quality of US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) guidelines with those published subsequently 
Quality & safety in health care  2003;12(6):428-434.
Objective: To determine whether North American guidelines published subsequent to and in the same topic areas as those developed by the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) meet the same methodological criteria.
Study design: A guideline appraisal instrument containing 30 criteria was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the AHCPR guidelines, "updates" of the AHCPR guidelines authored by others, and guidelines that referenced or were adapted from the AHCPR guidelines. The frequency with which the criteria appeared in each guideline was compared and an analysis was performed to determine guidelines with two key features of the ACHPR guidelines—multidisciplinary guideline development panels and systematic reviews of the literature. Data were extracted from the guidelines by one investigator and then checked for accuracy by the other.
Results: Fifty two guidelines identified by broad based searches were evaluated. 50% of the criteria were present in every AHCPR guideline. The AHCPR guidelines scored 80% or more on 24 of the 30 criteria compared with 14 for the "updates" and 11 for those that referenced/adapted the AHCPR guidelines. All of the 17 AHCPR guidelines had both multidisciplinary development panels and systematic reviews of the literature compared with five from the other two categories (p<0.05).
Conclusions: North American guidelines developed subsequent to and in the same topic areas as the AHCPR guidelines are of substantially worse methodological quality and ignore key features important to guideline development. This finding contrasts with previously published conclusions that guideline methodological quality is improving over time.
PMCID: PMC1758044  PMID: 14645758
14.  Appraisal of WHO Guidelines in Maternal Health Using the AGREE II Assessment Tool 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e38891.
In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) received a criticism for a lack of transparency and systematic methods in the development of guidelines, which were at that time perceived as substantially driven by expert opinion. In this paper we assessed the quality of maternal and perinatal health guidelines developed since then. We used the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II tool to evaluate the quality of methodological rigour and transparency of four different WHO guidelines published between 2007 and 2011. Our findings showed high scores among the most recent guidelines on maternal and perinatal health suggesting higher quality. However, there is still potential for improvement, especially in including different stakeholder views, transparency of guidelines regarding the role of the funding body and presentation of the guideline document.
PMCID: PMC3418264  PMID: 22912662
15.  Transparency Matters: Kaiser Permanente's National Guideline Program Methodological Processes 
The Permanente Journal  2012;16(1):55-62.
Introduction: The practice-guideline process of collecting, critically appraising, and synthesizing available evidence, then developing expert panel recommendations based on appraised evidence, makes it possible to provide high-quality care for patients. Unwanted variability in the quality and rigor of evidence summaries and Clinical Practice Guidelines has been a long-standing challenge for clinicians seeking evidence-based guidance to support patient care decisions.
Methods: A multidisciplinary group of stakeholders, with representation from all eight Kaiser Permanente Regions, is responsible for creating National Guidelines. Conducting high-quality systematic reviews and creating clinical guidelines are time-, labor-, and resource-intensive processes, which raises challenges for an organization striving to balance rigor with efficiency. For these reasons, the National Guideline Program elected to allow for the identification, assessment, and possible adoption of existing evidence-based guidelines and systematic reviews using the ADAPTE; Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation; Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR); and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) frameworks. If no acceptable external guidelines are identified, the Guideline Development Team then systematically searches for relevant high-quality systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and original studies. Existing systematic reviews are assessed for quality using a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (the AMSTAR systematic review checklist).
Study Appraisal: Following the screening and selection process, the included studies (the “body of evidence”) are critically appraised for quality, using the GRADE methodology, which focuses on four key factors that must be considered when assigning strength to a recommendation: balance between desirable and undesirable effects, quality of evidence, values and preferences, and cost. The evidence is then used to create preliminary clinical recommendations. The strength of these recommendations is graded to reflect the extent to which a guideline panel is confident that the desirable effects of an intervention outweigh undesirable effects (or vice versa) across the range of patients for whom the recommendation is intended.
Dissemination: The Care Management Institute disseminates all KP national guidelines to its eight Regions via postings on its Clinical Library Intranet site, a Web-based internal information resource.
PMCID: PMC3327114  PMID: 22529761
16.  Methodological quality of English-language genetic guidelines on hereditary breast-cancer screening and management: an evaluation using the AGREE instrument 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:143.
We examined the methodological quality of guidelines on syndromes conferring genetic susceptibility to breast cancer.
PubMed, EMBASE, and Google were searched for guidelines published up to October 2010. All guidelines in English were included. The Appraisal of Guidelines, Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument was used to assess the quality of the guidelines, and their reported evidence base was evaluated.
Thirteen guidelines were deemed eligible: seven had been developed by independent associations, and the other six had national/state endorsements. Four guidelines performed satisfactorily, achieving a score of greater than 50% in all six AGREE domains. Mean ± SD standardized scores for the six AGREE domains were: 90 ± 9% for 'scope and purpose', 51 ± 18% for 'stakeholder involvement', 55 ± 27% for 'rigour of development', 80 ± 11% for 'clarity and presentation', 37 ± 32% for 'applicability', and 47 ± 38% for 'editorial independence'. Ten of the thirteen guidelines were found to be based on research evidence.
Given the ethical implications and the high costs of genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer, guidelines on this topic should provide clear and evidence-based recommendations. Our analysis shows that there is scope for improving many aspects of the methodological quality of current guidelines. The AGREE instrument is a useful tool, and could be used profitably by guidelines developers to improve the quality of recommendations.
PMCID: PMC3520768  PMID: 23171648
Breast cancer; BRCA1/2; Familial breast/ovarian cancer; Cancer screening; Cancer surveillance
17.  “More bang for the buck”: exploring optimal approaches for guideline implementation through interviews with international developers 
Population based studies show that guidelines are underused. Surveys of international guideline developers found that many do not implement their guidelines. The purpose of this research was to interview guideline developers about implementation approaches and resources.
Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with representatives of guideline development agencies identified in the National Guideline Clearinghouse and sampled by country, type of developer, and guideline clinical indication. Participants were asked to comment on the benefits and resource implications of three approaches for guideline implementation that varied by responsibility: developers, intermediaries, or users.
Thirty individuals from seven countries were interviewed, representing government (n = 12) and professional (n = 18) organizations that produced guidelines for a variety of clinical indications. Organizations with an implementation mandate featured widely inconsistent funding and staffing models, variable approaches for choosing promotional strategies, and an array of dissemination activities. When asked to choose a preferred approach, most participants selected the option of including information within guidelines that would help users to implement them. Given variable mandate and resources for implementation, it was considered the most feasible approach, and therefore most likely to have impact due to potentially broad use.
While implementation approaches and strategies need not be standardized across organizations, the findings may be used by health care policy makers and managers, and guideline developers to generate strategic and operational plans that optimize implementation capacity. Further research is needed to examine how to optimize implementation capacity by guideline developers, intermediaries and users.
PMCID: PMC3561165  PMID: 23153052
Guideline development; Guideline implementation; Qualitative research
18.  Analysis of Quality of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Otorhinolaryngology in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53566.
To evaluate the quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for otorhinolaryngology in China.
Materials and Methods
A systematic search of relevant literature databases (CBM, WANFANG, VIP, CNKI, China Guideline Clearinghouse) published between 1978 and March 2012 was undertaken to identify and select CPGs related to otorhinolaryngology. Four independent reviewers assessed the eligible guidelines using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) instrument. Their degree of agreement was evaluated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
From 170 citations, 21 relevant guidelines were included. The overall agreement among reviewers was moderate (ICC = 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78–0.91). The scores for each of the AGREE domains were the following: “scope and purpose” (mean ± standard error [SE] = 45.4±4.4; ICC = 0.92), “stakeholder involvement” (mean ± SE = 30.4±3.1; ICC = 0.81), “rigor of development” (mean ± SE = 20.9±2.8; ICC = 0.87), “clarity of presentation” (mean ± SE = 48.8±3.7; ICC = 0.80), “applicability” (mean ± SE = 12.6±1.7; ICC = 0.72), and “editorial independence” (mean ± SE = 6.2±0.8; ICC = 0.76). Three guidelines (14%) mentioned updates, and the average update frequency was 7 years. None used the GRADE system.
The quality of otorhinolaryngology guidelines in China is low. Greater efforts are needed to provide high-quality guidelines that serve as a useful and reliable tool for clinical decision-making in this field.
PMCID: PMC3548820  PMID: 23349719
19.  Does GEM-Encoding Clinical Practice Guidelines Improve the Quality of Knowledge Bases? A Study with the Rule-Based Formalism 
The aim of this work was to determine whether the GEM-encoding step could improve the representation of clinical practice guidelines as formalized knowledge bases. We used the 1999 Canadian recommendations for the management of hypertension, chosen as the knowledge source in the ASTI project. We first clarified semantic ambiguities of therapeutic sequences recommended in the guideline by proposing an interpretative framework of therapeutic strategies. Then, after a formalization step to standardize the terms used to characterize clinical situations, we created the GEM-encoded instance of the guideline. We developed a module for the automatic derivation of a rule base, BR-GEM, from the instance. BR-GEM was then compared to the rule base, BR-ASTI, embedded within the critic mode of ASTI, and manually built by two physicians from the same Canadian guideline. As compared to BR-ASTI, BR-GEM is more specific and covers more clinical situations. When evaluated on 10 patient cases, the GEM-based approach led to promising results.
PMCID: PMC1480282  PMID: 14728173
20.  A pan-Canadian practice guideline and algorithm: screening, assessment, and supportive care of adults with cancer-related fatigue 
Current Oncology  2013;20(3):e233-e246.
The purpose of the present systematic review was to develop a practice guideline to inform health care providers about screening, assessment, and effective management of cancer-related fatigue (crf) in adults.
The internationally endorsed adapte methodology was used to develop a practice guideline for pan-Canadian use. A systematic search of the literature identified a broad range of evidence: clinical practice guidelines, systematic reviews, and other guidance documents on the screening, assessment, and management of crf. The search included medline, embase, cinahl, the Cochrane Library, and other guideline and data sources to December 2009.
Two clinical practice guidelines were identified for adaptation. Seven guidance documents and four systematic reviews also provided supplementary evidence to inform guideline recommendations. Health professionals across Canada provided expert feedback on the adapted recommendations in the practice guideline and algorithm through a participatory external review process.
Practice guidelines can facilitate the adoption of evidence-based assessment and interventions for adult cancer patients experiencing fatigue. Development of an algorithm to guide decision-making in practice may also foster the uptake of a guideline into routine care.
PMCID: PMC3671030  PMID: 23737693
Fatigue; cancer; survivor; survivorship; screening; assessment; supportive care; adapted guideline
21.  Toward a standard for guideline representation: an ontological approach. 
Guidelines for clinical practice are being introduced in an extensive way in more and more different fields of medicine They have the potentialities of improving the quality and cost-efficiency of care in an increasingly complex health care delivery environment. Computerization may increase the effectiveness of both the information retrieval of guidelines and the management of guideline-based care. The scenario is evolving from stand-alone workstations to telematics applications that enable guidelines development and dissemination. However, such a knowledge sharing requires the definition of formal models for guidelines representation. The models should have a clear semantics in order to avoid ambiguities. The role of ontologies is that of making explicit the conceptualizations behind a model. In this paper we present our library of ontologies and point out its role for integrating existing guideline models and defining standard representations.
PMCID: PMC2232797  PMID: 10566492
22.  An Environment for Document Engineering of Clinical Guidelines 
In this paper, we present the G-DEE system, a document engineering environment aimed at clinical guidelines. This system represents an extension of current visual interfaces for guidelines encoding, in that it supports automatic text processing functions which identify linguistic markers of document structure, such as recommendations, thereby decreasing the complexity of operations required by the user. Such markers are identified by shallow parsing of free text and are automatically marked up as an early step of document structuring. From this first representation, it is possible to identify elements of guidelines contents, such as decision variables, and produce elements of GEM encoding, using rules defined as XSL style sheets. We tested our automatic structuring system on a set of sentences extracted from French clinical guidelines. As a result, 97% of the occurrences of deontic operators and their scopes were correctly marked up. G-DEE can be used for various purposes, from research into guidelines structure to assisting the encoding of guidelines into a GEM format or into decision rules.
PMCID: PMC1560744  PMID: 16779045
23.  246 Assessment of the Quality of Methodological Rigour and Reporting of Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Allergic Rhinitis—Qugar Study 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S97-S98.
To assess the methodological rigour and transparency of reporting in clinical practice guidelines for the management of allergic rhinitis (AR).
We systematically searched MEDLINE, TRIP database (including the National Guidelines Clearinghouse) and professional society websites for guidelines about the management of AR published after the year 2000. We assumed that older guidelines would no longer influence current clinical practice. If the guideline was updated after 2000 we assessed the most recent version. We included all guidelines published in English and endorsed by an international or national government agency or professional group, irrespective of country of origin or publication status. Two reviewers independently screened search results using predefined eligibility criteria and assessed the rigour of development and reporting of included guidelines using the AGREE II instrument (
Our search revealed 432 records of which 34 full text articles were assessed for eligibility. Nine documents fulfilled our criteria–3 international and 6 national guidelines from Japan, Singapore, South Africa, UK and the USA. Overall methodological rigour and reporting of guidelines about the management of AR was variable—from fulfilling most AGREE II criteria to almost none. There was no association between the methodological rigour and time of publication or the target scope of the guideline (national versus international). Across all guidelines the most rigorously reported domain was “clarity of presentation” (median score 53%), mainly due to fair presentation of different management options (item 16), followed by “scope and purpose” (median score 42%). The least rigorously addressed was “applicability” domain with median score of 2% across all guidelines. Median scores for domains “stakeholder involvement”, “rigour of development” and editorial independence” were 17%, 15% and 25%, respectively. The ARIA guidelines (2010 update) achieved the highest scores in 5 out of 6 domains and the lowest score on any domain was 60%.
Guideline users should be aware of the variability in quality of development and reporting of guidelines for the management of AR. They should choose higher quality guidelines to inform their practice. For many guidelines there is much room for improvement, in particular in the domains of applicability and implementation.
PMCID: PMC3512885
24.  Using features of Arden Syntax with object-oriented medical data models for guideline modeling. 
Computer-interpretable guidelines (CIGs) can deliver patient-specific decision support at the point of care. CIGs base their recommendations on eligibility and decision criteria that relate medical concepts to patient data. CIG models use expression languages for specifying these criteria, and define models for medical data to which the expressions can refer. In developing version 3 of the GuideLine Interchange Format (GLIF3), we used existing standards as the medical data model and expression language. We investigated the object-oriented HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) as a default data model. We developed an expression language, called GEL, based on Arden Syntax's logic grammar. Together with other GLIF constructs, GEL reconciles incompatibilities between the data models of Arden Syntax and the HL7 RIM. These incompatibilities include Arden's lack of support for complex data types and time intervals, and the mismatch between Arden's single primary time and multiple time attributes of the HL7 RIM.
PMCID: PMC2243476  PMID: 11825243
25.  Extending the GuideLine Implementability Appraisal (GLIA) instrument to identify problems in control flow 
Clinical guidelines are usually written as text documents that are meant for human consumption. Implementing clinical guidelines as decision-support systems that deliver patient-specific advice at the point of care could increase the effectiveness of clinical guidelines. Several researchers studied the transition from narrative guidelines to computer-interpretable guidelines and have identified specific barriers to guideline implementation. GuideLine Implementability Appraisal (GLIA) is a comprehensive instrument for identifying such barriers, such that they could be revised. We used the GLIA instrument to appraise a historic thyroid nodule guideline that is now being reviewed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Our analysis uncovered new guideline implementation barriers related to control-flow that we integrated into GLIA.
PMCID: PMC3041334  PMID: 21347054

Results 1-25 (753545)