The session with Axel Merseburger drew great interest, and we think, very much endorsed the principle of assembling an ad hoc panel to look at an important topic from the unbiased and neutral position of assessing published evidence using strict criteria. Many thanks are due to our panel for the effort that they put in.
Our guest speaker, Prof. Cathy DeAngelis, Editor in Chief of JAMA was also a great success, with a stimulating and authoritative talk on Conflict of Interest and guidelines, listened to by a large audience in which there were several of our colleagues from the trade exhibition. Professor Dionisis Mitroupolis, chairman of the second ad hoc panel, gave a thoughtful presentation on which we can build a momentum for the unification of reporting of complications in the urological literature. Finally, the new update on “The treatment of upper urinary tract urothelial tumours” was a very welcome addition to this year’s corpus of texts, and was succinctly presented by Dr. Morgan Rouprêt, for which more thanks to him and the panel.
The Guidelines Training session was well attended and to our mild surprise seemed to extend well beyond the finish time, with vibrant discussions which were curtailed only when the venue staff wished to close the room for the night! That is perhaps as good a yardstick on which to assess interest in the guidelines and the process we use to produce them, though we have conducted a survey of all attendees to see where improvements and modifications might be made. What is in no doubt is that we will continue to run training sessions for panel members and anyone else who is interested, hoping to increase their frequency. A collaboration with European Urology has been suggested.
In looking to the future, work is continuing to produce a web-based platform to assist with literature searches and data extraction. The Urinary Incontinence panel has had the first chance to trial this, and the results are most promising, so we will continue with this initiative, with a plan to make it available to all panels as soon as the bugs are removed, and the programme runs smoothly.
The Guidelines Office Board is very aware of the difficulties and hurdles faced by all panels, and in an attempt to facilitate where and whenever we can, we have decided to invite a number of Chairman, on a rolling programme, to each of the Board meetings, so that there is the opportunity for much closer and regular discussions to highlight problems, and to do what can be done to fix them.
You will have noticed that next year the EAU Annual Congress in Paris is much earlier than usual. This has an impact on the Guidelines because publication deadlines will have to be brought forward. The clamour for the ‘big book’ seen in Vienna reinforces the view that we must continue to produce hard copy of all the Guidelines, and that they must be available at the Congress. To ensure that this happens we will be asking Chairs and panels to complete their updates for the 2012 publication and to bring them to be presented at the Chairmen meeting which will be held this year on 18th/19th November (Athens, Greece).
One of the problems which we have not yet resolved is the potential for conflicting views to appear in different guidelines. We hope that by Chairmen presenting their guidelines to the group as a whole, that such potential anomalies will be corrected, and that the focus of the whole meeting will be directed entirely to the production of improved guidelines.
Chairman EAU Guidelines Office