How to develop clinical guidelines?

19 March 2011

Evidence-based medicine and the challenges of putting together the EAU Guidelines were discussed yesterday during a three-hour training session aimed at members of the EAU Guidelines committees as well as urologists interested in writing systematic scientific reviews.

The interactive format of the session enabled the participants to discuss the scope of clinical guidelines, the search for relevant data and the means to assess the quality of evidence.

“The objectives were well-met – we wanted to give a broad overview of the process – from developing a question to producing a recommendation,” said Prof. Steve Canfield (Houston, US), who gave three presentations at the session. “We had great questions from the participants and the feedback was fantastic.”

Many of the challenges regarding the trends and challenges in today’s evidence-based approach to medicine have also been discussed. “The main challenge today is the amount of information we have to consider in order to gather and synthesise the evidence – the process is very resource-intensive,” commented Prof. James N’Dow (Aberdeen, UK), EAU Guidelines Board Member.

The contents of the training session was broken down into several sections which covered the development and use of care pathways, formulating the clinical questions, searching the literature, rating the evidence, and finally, formulating a recommendation.

“I was excited to see full house attendance and active participation,” said Prof. Jacques Irani (Poitiers, France), EAU Guidelines Board Member and Vice-Chairman, “This indicates that urologists are coming to realise that there is a need for such expertise in today’s medical research.”