Modifying the format and content of guidelines may facilitate their use and lead to improved quality of care. We reviewed the medical literature to identify features desired by different users and associated with guideline use to develop a framework of implementability and found that most guidelines do not contain these elements. Further research is needed to develop and evaluate implementability tools.
We are launching the Guideline Implementability Research and Application Network (GIRAnet) to enable the development and testing of implementability tools in three domains: Resource Implications, Implementation, and Evaluation. Partners include the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) and its member guideline developers, implementers, and researchers. In phase one, international guidelines will be examined to identify and describe exemplar tools. Indication-specific and generic tools will populate a searchable repository. In phase two, qualitative analysis of cognitive interviews will be used to understand how developers can best integrate implementability tools in guidelines and how health professionals use them for interpreting and applying guidelines. In phase three, a small-scale pilot test will assess the impact of implementability tools based on quantitative analysis of chart-based behavioural outcomes and qualitative analysis of interviews with participants. The findings will be used to plan a more comprehensive future evaluation of implementability tools.
Infrastructure funding to establish GIRAnet will be leveraged with the in-kind contributions of collaborating national and international guideline developers to advance our knowledge of implementation practice and science. Needs assessment and evaluation of GIRAnet will provide a greater understanding of how to develop and sustain such knowledge-exchange networks. Ultimately, by facilitating use of guidelines, this research may lead to improved delivery and outcomes of patient care.
Guidelines; Guideline development; Guideline implementation; Research networks; Knowledge exchange
Enhancing CPG acceptance and implementation can play a major role in the development and establishment of emergency medicine as a specialty in many parts of the world. A Guideline International Network special interest group established to support collaboration to improve uptake of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) across the emergency care sector conducted an international survey to identify attributes of guideline likely to enhance their use.
A Web-based survey was undertaken to determine how CPGs were accessed, the preferred formats and attributes of guidelines, and familiarity with GRADE. The criteria used to identify preferred attributes of guidelines were adapted from the AGREE II Tool.
Two hundred six responses were received from 31 countries, 74/206 (36%) from the US, 28/206 (16%) from Canada, 17/206 (8%) from Australia and 15/206 (7%) from the UK. The majority of responses were from physicians (176/206, 85%) with 15/206 (7%) of responses from nurses and 9/206 (4%) from pre-hospital emergency services personnel. The preferred format for guidelines was clinical protocols that incorporated recommendations into workflow, and the most preferred attribute of guidelines was the clear identification of key recommendations. The results also identified that within the group that responded to the question related to GRADE, 66% were unfamiliar with this system for summarizing evidence in relationship to recommendations.
The findings provide the basis for further research to explore the most appropriate formats for guidelines or guidelines resources tailored to the needs of the emergency care providers.
In social insurance, the evaluation of work disability is becoming stricter as priority is given to the resumption of work, which calls for a guarantee of quality for these evaluations. Evidence-based guidelines have become a major instrument in the quality control of health care, and the quality of these guidelines' development can be assessed using the AGREE instrument. In social insurance medicine, such guidelines are relatively new. We were interested to know what guidelines have been developed to support the medical evaluation of work disability and the quality of these guidelines.
Five European countries that were reported to use guidelines were approached, using a recent inventory of evaluations of work disability in Europe. We focused on guidelines that are disease-oriented and formally prescribed in social insurance medicine. Using the AGREE instrument, these guidelines were appraised by two researchers. We asked two experts involved in guideline development to indicate if they agreed with our results and to provide explanations for insufficient scores.
We found six German and sixteen Dutch sets of disease-oriented guidelines in official use. The AGREE instrument was applicable, requiring minor adaptations. The appraisers reached consensus on all items. Each guideline scored well on 'scope and purpose' and 'clarity and presentation'. The guidelines scored moderately on 'stakeholder involvement' in the Netherlands, but insufficiently in Germany, due mainly to the limited involvement of patients' representatives in this country. All guidelines had low scores on 'rigour of development', which was due partly to a lack of documentation and of existing evidence. 'Editorial independence' and 'applicability' had low scores in both countries as a result of how the production was organised.
Disease-oriented guidelines in social insurance medicine for the evaluation of work disability are a recent phenomenon, so far restricted to Germany and the Netherlands. The AGREE instrument is suitably applicable to assess the quality of guideline development in social insurance medicine, but some of the scoring rules need to be adapted to the context of social insurance. Existing guidelines do not meet the AGREE criteria to a sufficient level. The way patients' representatives can be involved needs further discussion. The guidelines would profit from more specific recommendations and, for providing evidence, more research is needed on the functional capacity of people with disabilities.
Clinical practice and public health guidelines are important tools for translating research findings into practice with the aim of assisting health practitioners as well as patients and consumers in health behavior and healthcare decision-making. Numerous programs for guideline development exist around the world, with growing international collaboration to improve their quality. One of the key features in developing trustworthy guidelines is that recommendations should be based on high-quality systematic reviews of the best available evidence. The review process used by guideline developers to identify and grade relevant evidence for developing recommendations should be systematic, transparent and unbiased. In this paper, we provide an overview of current international developments in the field of practice guidelines and methods to develop guidelines, with a specific focus on the role of systematic reviews. The Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) aims to stimulate collaboration between guideline developers and systematic reviewers to optimize the use of available evidence in guideline development and to increase efficiency in the guideline development process. Considering the significant benefit of systematic reviews for the guideline community, the G-I-N Board of Trustees supports the international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) initiative. G-I-N also recently launched a Data Extraction Resource (GINDER) to present and share data extracted from individual studies in a standardized template. PROSPERO and GINDER are complementary tools to enhance collaboration between guideline developers and systematic reviewers to allow for alignment of activities and a reduction in duplication of effort.
guidelines; reviews; systematic; methods
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a common, but now often overlooked side effect of cancer treatment, and one that can be largely prevented through the implementation of international evidence-based guidelines. The European CINV Forum, comprising nurses from France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the UK, discussed the use of CINV preventive strategies in routine practice, and the factors that affect optimal delivery of antiemetic therapies. Based on these discussions, they developed a series of recommendations for optimal, evidence-based management of CINV. These state that all patients receiving chemotherapy should undergo full assessment of their risk of CINV and receive appropriate prophylactic treatment based on guidelines from the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), which were both updated in 2011. Other recommendations, aimed at raising awareness of CINV and its management, include timely updates of relevant local practice guidelines and protocols, translation of the MASCC and NCCN guidelines into all European languages and their dissemination through accessible articles in nursing journals and newsletters and via nursing conferences and study days, improved training for nurses on CINV, collaboration between the European Oncology Nursing Society and national nursing organisations to promote consistent practice, the development of a CINV toolkit, information provision for patients, local audits of CINV management, and a survey of CINV management between and within European countries.
The Austrian health system is characterized by fragmentation of policy and financing. Therefore, an institute for quality in the health system was founded to bridge the gap between different interests and to bring forward quality work in the whole health system. One of the first tasks of this institute is the development and implementation of so-called ‘Bundesqualitätsleitlinien’, which mean national transsectoral and transdisciplinal health care guidelines.
The main aim is the implementation of evidence-based integrated health care guidelines on a national level and the improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system.
The guideline work follows national and international evidence and experience under the principle of transparence and consensual multidisciplinary development. Established evidence, such as medical, social and other guidelines may be integrated in the development process and can be declared as part of the final guidelines. Each guideline is developed, discussed and finally accepted by a panel of experts who represent main stakeholders of health system as well as health professionals and patients. While there are fix members, such as federal ministries and patient representatives, the different health professionals are invited as required referring to the topic of the guideline.
At the moment four national quality guidelines for chronic diseases are under development: COPD, diabetes, dementia and Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, a guideline for hospital admission and discharge management is in progress. As the utilization of these guidelines in practice is not predictable yet, the implementation in some regional pilot projects is planned.
The multidisciplinary and consensual approach leads to the challenge of achieving necessary compromises as well as high quality results. Furthermore, there is no possibility to create and finance new structures any improvements have to be gained through optimized processes which limits the options and possibilities of the guidelines.
evidence-based guidelines; quality of care
In Austria there are two main sources of law concerning quality in health system: the ‘Gesundheitsqualitätsgesetz’ (health quality law) and the so-called ‘Vereinbarung gemäß Artikel 15a B-VG’ (agreement according to article 15a of the Federal Constitution) which regulates organisation and financing of the health care system. Both postulate transsectoral, transdisciplinal and evidence-based health care although there is no systematic approach for putting this aim into practice yet.
A national strategy for guideline development shall be designed and published as an own guideline, the so-called ‘Meta-Leitlinie’. This consistent method assures that international accepted rules of guideline development as well as national boundaries, such as legal aspects and practice of health care delivery are considered in future guideline development.
To follow the principle of transsectoral and transdisciplinal guidelines an expert panel, consisting of main stakeholders of health care system as well as representatives of health professionals and patients, guides the whole development process and assures consensual and accepted outcomes. As this approach is novel, the whole process is proposed as work in progress.
Experiences of the current development of national health care guidelines are integrated in the development of the ‘Meta-Leitlinie’ and lead to the fact that both development processes influence each other. The practical guideline development provides the opportunity to learn from the practice while defining the methodical framework.
The first draft of the guideline is expected to undergo a national public consultation process in Summer 2009 and shall be discussed with some international experts until the end of 2009.
Development and implementation of a national framework for guideline development in health care system is a great challenge and means the integration of different perceptions and requirements. The chosen way of integrating evidence and expertise as well as learning from practical guideline development work is challenging but seams to assure acceptance and practicability of the final results.
guideline development; national framework
Clinical practice guidelines are one of the foundations of efforts to improve health care. In 1999, we authored a paper about methods to develop guidelines. Since it was published, the methods of guideline development have progressed both in terms of methods and necessary procedures and the context for guideline development has changed with the emergence of guideline clearing houses and large scale guideline production organisations (such as the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). It therefore seems timely to, in a series of three articles, update and extend our earlier paper. In this third paper we discuss the issues of: reviewing, reporting, and publishing guidelines; updating guidelines; and the two emerging issues of enhancing guideline implementability and how guideline developers should approach dealing with the issue of patients who will be the subject of guidelines having co-morbid conditions.
Practice guidelines can improve health care delivery and outcomes but several issues challenge guideline adoption, including their intrinsic attributes, and whether and how they are implemented. It appears that guideline format may influence accessibility and ease of use, which may overcome attitudinal barriers of guideline adoption, and appear to be important to all stakeholders. Guideline content may facilitate various forms of decision making about guideline adoption relevant to different stakeholders. Knowledge and attitudes about, and incentives and capacity for implementation on the part of guideline sponsors may influence whether and how they develop guidelines containing these features, and undertake implementation. Examination of these issues may yield opportunities to improve guideline adoption.
The attributes hypothesized to facilitate adoption will be expanded by thematic analysis, and quantitative and qualitative summary of the content of international guidelines for two primary care (diabetes, hypertension) and institutional care (chronic ulcer, chronic heart failure) topics. Factors that influence whether and how guidelines are implemented will be explored by qualitative analysis of interviews with individuals affiliated with guideline sponsoring agencies.
Previous research examined guideline implementation by measuring rates of compliance with recommendations or associated outcomes, but this produced little insight on how the products themselves, or their implementation, could be improved. This research will establish a theoretical basis upon which to conduct experimental studies to compare the cost-effectiveness of interventions that enhance guideline development and implementation capacity. Such studies could first examine short-term outcomes predictive of guideline utilization, such as recall, attitude toward, confidence in, and adoption intention. If successful, then long-term objective outcomes reflecting the adoption of processes and associated patient care outcomes could be evaluated.
The present supplement summarizes the proceedings of the symposium “Implementing practice guidelines: A workshop on guidelines dissemination and implementation with a focus on asthma and COPD”, which took place in Quebec City, Quebec, from April 14 to 16, 2005. This international symposium was a joint initiative of the Laval University Office of Continuing Medical Education (Bureau de la Formation Médicale Continue), the Canadian Thoracic Society and the Canadian Network for Asthma Care, and was supported by many other organizations and by industrial partners. The objectives of this meeting were to examine the optimal implementation of practice guidelines, review current initiatives for the implementation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) guidelines in Canada and in the rest of the world, and develop an optimal strategy for future guideline implementation. An impressive group of scientists, physicians and other health care providers, as well as policy makers and representatives of patients’ associations, the pharmaceutical industry, research and health networks, and communications specialists, conveyed their perspectives on how to achieve these goals.
This important event provided a unique opportunity for all participants to discuss key issues in improving the care of patients with asthma and COPD. These two diseases are responsible for an enormous human and socioeconomic burden around the world. Many reports have indicated that current evidence-based guidelines are underused by physicians and others, and that there are many barriers to an effective translation of recommendations into day-to-day care. There is therefore a need to develop more effective ways to communicate key information to both caregivers and patients, and to promote appropriate health behaviours. This symposium contributed to the initiation of what could become the “Canadian Asthma and COPD Campaign”, aimed at improving care and, hence, the quality of life of those suffering from these diseases.
It is hoped that this event will be followed by other meetings that focus on how to improve the transfer of key recommendations from evidence-based guidelines into current care, and how to stimulate research to accomplish this.
Asthma; COPD; Evidence-based medicine; Guidelines implementation; Practice guidelines
Background: The enormous socioeconomic burden of low back pain emphasises the need for effective management of this problem, especially in an occupational context. To address this, occupational guidelines have been issued in various countries.
Aims: To compare available international guidelines dealing with the management of low back pain in an occupational health care setting.
Methods: The guidelines were compared regarding generally accepted quality criteria using the AGREE instrument, and also summarised regarding the guideline committee, the presentation, the target group, and assessment and management recommendations (that is, advice, return to work strategy, and treatment).
Results and Conclusions: The results show that the quality criteria were variously met by the guidelines. Common flaws concerned the absence of proper external reviewing in the development process, lack of attention to organisational barriers and cost implications, and lack of information on the extent to which editors and developers were independent. There was general agreement on numerous issues fundamental to occupational health management of back pain. The assessment recommendations consisted of diagnostic triage, screening for "red flags" and neurological problems, and the identification of potential psychosocial and workplace barriers for recovery. The guidelines also agreed on advice that low back pain is a self limiting condition and, importantly, that remaining at work or an early (gradual) return to work, if necessary with modified duties, should be encouraged and supported.
Reasons for poor guideline adherence in acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children in high-income countries are unclear, but may be due to inconsistency between guideline recommendations, lack of evidence, and lack of generalizability of the recommendations to general practice. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of international guidelines on AGE in children and investigate the generalizability of the recommendations to general practice.
Guidelines were retrieved from websites of professional medical organisations and websites of institutes involved in guideline development. In addition, a systematic search of the literature was performed. Articles were selected if they were a guideline, consensus statement or care protocol.
Eight guidelines met the inclusion criteria, the quality of the guidelines varied. 242 recommendations on diagnosis and management were found, of which 138 (57%) were based on evidence.
There is a large variety in the classification of symptoms to different categories of dehydration. No signs are generalizable to general practice.
It is consistently recommended to use hypo-osmolar ORS, however, the recommendations on ORS-dosage are not evidence based and are inconsistent. One of 14 evidence based recommendations on therapy of AGE is based on outpatient research and is therefore generalizable to general practice.
The present study shows considerable variation in the quality of guidelines on AGE in children, as well as inconsistencies between the recommendations. It remains unclear how to asses the extent of dehydration and determine the preferred treatment or referral of a young child with AGE presenting in general practice.
We conducted a review of the history and performance of developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) testing in support of the finalization and implementation of Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) DNT test guideline 426 (TG 426).
Information sources and analysis
In this review we summarize extensive scientific efforts that form the foundation for this testing paradigm, including basic neurotoxicology research, interlaboratory collaborative studies, expert workshops, and validation studies, and we address the relevance, applicability, and use of the DNT study in risk assessment.
The OECD DNT guideline represents the best available science for assessing the potential for DNT in human health risk assessment, and data generated with this protocol are relevant and reliable for the assessment of these end points. The test methods used have been subjected to an extensive history of international validation, peer review, and evaluation, which is contained in the public record. The reproducibility, reliability, and sensitivity of these methods have been demonstrated, using a wide variety of test substances, in accordance with OECD guidance on the validation and international acceptance of new or updated test methods for hazard characterization. Multiple independent, expert scientific peer reviews affirm these conclusions.
children’s health; developmental neurotoxicity; guideline; hazard assessment; Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development; risk assessment; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The history of health care delivery in Canada has been marked by close collaboration between physicians and the pharmaceutical and health supply industries, this collaboration extending to research as well as to education. Since medicine is a self-governing profession physicians have a responsibility to ensure that their participation in such collaborative efforts is in keeping with their duties toward their patients and society. The following guidelines have been developed by the CMA to assist physicians in determining when a relationship with industry is appropriate. Although directed primarily to individual physicians, including residents and interns as well as medical students, the guidelines also govern the relationships between industry and medical associations. These guidelines focus on the pharmaceutical companies; however, the CMA considers that the same principles apply to the relationship between its members and manufacturers of medical devices, infant formulas and similar products, and health care products and service suppliers in general. These guidelines reflect a national consensus and are meant to serve as an educational resource for physicians throughout Canada.
Clinical guidelines translate complex research findings and expert opinion into actionable recommendations. However, the effectiveness of even evidence-based guidelines is rarely tested as a whole in a real clinical environment.
We have developed a decision support system for implementing clinical guidelines in a busy pediatric practice. We have added to this system the ability to randomize patients to receive care with or without system support of the guideline or guideline components. The randomization is part of the Arden Syntax that implements the system logic. The result is a relatively effortless process for testing guidelines, as they are implemented, to assure that they are effective.
We describe the system and the process by which this guideline evaluation functionality was built in, using two guidelines (asthma management and maternal depression screening) both of which have been applied to thousands of patients to date.
Complete, accurate and transparent reporting is an integral part of responsible research conduct. However, many studies have shown that health research publications frequently lack crucial information. Reporting guidelines like the CONSORT Statement help to improve the quality of research reports. Unfortunately, their uptake by journals and authors is still limited and does not maximize their potential. The EQUATOR Network, a new international initiative, leads the effort to promote transparent reporting of research and the use of reporting guidelines. It provides online resources and training relating to the reporting of health research, and assists in the development, dissemination and implementation of reporting guidelines (www.equator-network.org). Poor reporting practices can be decreased only through close collaboration of all parties involved in research and its publication; EQUATOR can facilitate the process.
EQUATOR Network; reporting guidelines; research reporting
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have become increasingly popular, and the methodology to develop guidelines has evolved enormously. However, little attention has been given to the updating process, in contrast to the appraisal of the available literature. We conducted an international survey to identify current practices in CPG updating and explored the need to standardize and improve the methods.
We developed a questionnaire (28 items) based on a review of the existing literature about guideline updating and expert comments. We carried out the survey between March and July 2009, and it was sent by email to 106 institutions: 69 members of the Guidelines International Network who declared that they developed CPGs; 30 institutions included in the U.S. National Guideline Clearinghouse database that published more than 20 CPGs; and 7 institutions selected by an expert committee.
Forty-four institutions answered the questionnaire (42% response rate). In the final analysis, 39 completed questionnaires were included. Thirty-six institutions (92%) reported that they update their guidelines. Thirty-one institutions (86%) have a formal procedure for updating their guidelines, and 19 (53%) have a formal procedure for deciding when a guideline becomes out of date. Institutions describe the process as moderately rigorous (36%) or acknowledge that it could certainly be more rigorous (36%). Twenty-two institutions (61%) alert guideline users on their website when a guideline is older than three to five years or when there is a risk of being outdated. Twenty-five institutions (64%) support the concept of "living guidelines," which are continuously monitored and updated. Eighteen institutions (46%) have plans to design a protocol to improve their guideline-updating process, and 21 (54%) are willing to share resources with other organizations.
Our study is the first to describe the process of updating CPGs among prominent guideline institutions across the world, providing a comprehensive picture of guideline updating. There is an urgent need to develop rigorous international standards for this process and to minimize duplication of effort internationally.
Description of a workshop entitled “Sharing Guidelines for Low Back Pain Between Primary Health Care Providers: Toward a Common Message in Primary Care” that was held at the Fifth International Forum on Low Back Pain in Primary Care in Canada in May 2002. Despite a considerable degree of acceptance of current evidence-based guidelines, in practice, primary health care providers still do not share a common message. The objective of the workshop was to describe the outcomes of a workshop on the sharing of guidelines in primary care. The Fifth International Forum on Low Back Pain Research in Primary Care focused on relations between stakeholders in the primary care management of back pain. Participants in this workshop contributed to an open discussion on “how and why” evidence-based guidelines about back pain do or do not work in practice. Ways to minimise the factors that inhibit implementation were discussed in the light of whether guidelines are mono-disciplinary or multidisciplinary. Examples of potential issues for debate were contained in introductory presentations. The prospects for improving implementation and reducing barriers, and the priorities for future research, were then considered by an international group of researchers. This paper summarises the conclusions of three researcher subgroups that focused on the sharing of guidelines under the headings of: (1) the content, (2) the development process, and (3) implementation. How to share the evidence and make it meaningful to practice stakeholders is the main challenge of guideline implementation. There is a need to consider the balance between the strength of evidence in multidisciplinary guidelines and the utility/feasibility of mono-disciplinary guidelines. The usefulness of both mono-disciplinary and multidisciplinary guidelines was agreed on. However, in order to achieve consistent messages, mono-disciplinary guidelines should have a multidisciplinary parent. In other words, guidelines should be developed and monitored by a multidisciplinary team, but may be transferred to practice by mono-disciplinary messengers. Despite general agreement that multi-faceted interventions are most effective for implementing guidelines, the feasibility of doing this in busy clinical settings is questioned. Research is needed from local implementation pilots and quality monitoring studies to understand how to develop and deliver the contextual understanding required. This relates to processes of care as well as outcomes, and to social factors and policymaking as well as health care interventions. We commend these considerations to all who are interested in the challenges of achieving better-integrated, evidence-based care for people with back pain.
Back pain; Guidelines; Primary Care; Implementation
Practice guidelines are systematically developed statements and recommendations that assist the physicians and patients in making decisions about appropriate health care measures for specific clinical circumstances taking into account specific national health care structures. The 1st revision of the S-2k guideline of the German Sepsis Society in collaboration with 17 German medical scientific societies and one self-help group provides state-of-the-art information (results of controlled clinical trials and expert knowledge) on the effective and appropriate medical care (prevention, diagnosis, therapy and follow-up care) of critically ill patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. The guideline had been developed according to the “German Instrument for Methodological Guideline Appraisal” of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies (AWMF). In view of the inevitable advancements in scientific knowledge and technical expertise, revisions, updates and amendments must be periodically initiated. The guideline recommendations may not be applied under all circumstances. It rests with the clinician to decide whether a certain recommendation should be adopted or not, taking into consideration the unique set of clinical facts presented in connection with each individual patient as well as the available resources.
guideline; German Sepsis Society; German Sepsis Aid; severe sepsis; septic shock; prevention; diagnosis; treatment; follow-up care
Internationally, several initiatives exist to describe standards for post-disaster psychosocial care.
This study explored the level of consensus of experts within Europe on a set of recommendations on early psychosocial intervention after shocking events (Dutch guidelines), and to what degree these standards are implemented into mental health care practice.
Two hundred and six (mental) health care professionals filled out a questionnaire to assess the extent to which they consider the guidelines’ scope and recommendations relevant and part of the regular practice in their own country. Forty-five European experts from 24 EU countries discussed the guidelines at an international seminar.
The data suggest overall agreement on the standards although many of the recommendations appear not (yet) to be embedded in everyday practice.
Although large consensus exists on standards for early psychosocial care, a chasm between norms and practice appears to exist throughout the EU, stressing the general need for investments in guideline development and implementation.
Early psychosocial interventions; disaster; shocking events; psychological assessment; cross-cultural comparison
Limited guidelines exist for breast cancer management in developing countries. In this context, the Women's Cancer Initiative - Tata Memorial Hospital (WCI-TMH) organised its 8th Annual Conference to update guidelines in breast cancer.
Materials and Methods:
Appropriately formulated guideline questions on each topic and subtopic in the surgical, radiation and systemic management of primary breast cancer were developed by the scientific committee and shared with the guest faculty of the Conference. Majority of the questions had multiple choice answers. The opinion of the audience, comprising academic and community oncologists, was electronically cumulated, followed by focussed presentations by eminent national and international experts on each topic. The guidelines were finally developed through an expert panel that voted on each guideline question after all talks had been delivered and audience opinion elicited. Separate panels were constituted for locoregional and systemic therapy in primary breast cancer.
Based on the voting results of the expert panel, guidelines for locoregional therapy of breast cancer have been formulated. Voting patterns for each question are reported.
The updated guidelines on locoregional management of primary breast cancer in the context of developing countries are presented in this article. These recommendations have been designed to allow centers in the developing world to improve the quality of care for breast cancer patients.
Breast cancer; developing countries; guidelines; locoregional therapy
Numerous agencies have developed clinical practice guidelines for the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis. The study objective was to conduct a systematic assessment of the quality of osteoporosis guidelines produced since 1998.
Guidelines were identified by searching MEDLINE (1998+), the world wide web, known guideline developer websites, bibliographies of retrieved guidelines, and through consultation with content experts. Each guideline was then assessed by three independent appraisers using the 'Appraisal Instrument for Clinical Guidelines' (version 1) by Cluzeau.
We identified 26 unique guidelines from 1998–2001 and 21 met our inclusion criteria. Of the 21 guidelines reviewed, 8 were developed by medical societies, 6 by national groups, 6 by government agencies, and 1 by an international group. Twelve of the guidelines were published, 7 were organizational reports, and 2 were accessible only from the web. Half or more of the 20 items assessing the rigor of guideline development were met by 15% (median quality score 23%, range 5–80%, (95% CI 16.5, 34.7)), 81% met at least half of the 12 items assessing guideline content and context (median score 58%, range 17–83%, (95% CI 50.8, 65.5)), and none met half or more of the items assessing guideline application (median score 0%, range 0–47%, (95% CI -0.5 to 12.6)). Eight guidelines described the method used to assess the strength of evidence, and in 6 there was an explicit link between recommendations and the supporting evidence. Ten guidelines were judged not suitable for use in practice, 10 were acceptable with modification, and one was acceptable for use without modification.
The methodological quality of current osteoporosis guidelines is low, although their scores for clinical content were higher. Virtually no guidelines covered dissemination issues. Few guidelines were judged as acceptable for use in their current format.
Clinical practice guidelines are one of the foundations of efforts to improve health care. In 1999, we authored a paper about methods to develop guidelines. Since it was published, the methods of guideline development have progressed both in terms of methods and necessary procedures and the context for guideline development has changed with the emergence of guideline clearing houses and large scale guideline production organisations (such as the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). It therefore seems timely to, in a series of three articles, update and extend our earlier paper. In this first paper we discuss: the target audience(s) for guidelines and their use of guidelines; identifying topics for guidelines; guideline group composition (including consumer involvement) and the processes by which guideline groups function and the important procedural issue of managing conflicts of interest in guideline development.
Various guidelines have been proposed to assist psychiatrists all over the world in making appropriate health-care decisions. Though the fundamental premises of all guidelines are the same, yet they differ in certain important aspects; this hampers the universality of these guidelines. There are many internationally accepted guidelines which are based on robust research; still they do not necessarily address the geographical and cultural differences. This necessitates the formulation of regional guidelines, which usually lack the background of robust regional research. The Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) guidelines were also formulated to cater to the needs of the Indian population. It is now almost three years old, and it is high time it should be compared to the international guidelines, so as to appraise ourselves of the success or shortcomings of the guidelines. This article critically analyzes the IPS guidelines in comparison with the available international guidelines and schematically brings out the positive points, as well as the shortcomings, with the aim of further improvement in our indigenous guidelines.
APA guidelines; ECGS; IPS guidelines; PORT recommendations; TMAP recommendations
Clinical practice guidelines are an important element of evidence-based practice. Considering an often complicated body of evidence can be problematic for guideline developers, who in the past may have resorted to using levels of evidence of individual studies as a quasi-indicator for the strength of a recommendation. This paper reports on the production and trial of a methodology and associated processes to assist Australian guideline developers in considering a body of evidence and grading the resulting guideline recommendations.
In recognition of the complexities of clinical guidelines and the multiple factors that influence choice in health care, a working group of experienced guideline consultants was formed under the auspices of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to produce and pilot a framework to formulate and grade guideline recommendations. Consultation with national and international experts and extensive piloting informed the process.
The FORM framework consists of five components (evidence base, consistency, clinical impact, generalisability and applicability) which are used by guideline developers to structure their decisions on how to convey the strength of a recommendation through wording and grading via a considered judgement form. In parallel (but separate from the grading process) guideline developers are asked to consider implementation implications for each recommendation.
The framework has now been widely adopted by Australian guideline developers who find it to be a logical and intuitive way to formulate and grade recommendations in clinical practice guidelines.