After two years of concerted efforts from all members, Mr. Malcolm Lucas, chairman of the Urinary Incontinence Guidelines panel, presented the new EAU Guidelines on Urinary Incontinence at the recently concluded Congress in Paris.
The expert panel aimed to produce a practical every day guide unencumbered by basic science, epidemiology, and psychology but supplemented with clinical pathways that are clearly linked to evidence.
To achieve this the panel collaborated with the Cochrane group whilst adopting a sustainable methodology based on a PICO-based structured literature search and evidence appraisal of existing systematic reviews. They also employed a newly developed, web-based data extraction software tool that contained appraisal tables for easy comparison of all the data that were considered relevant. Moreover, the software programme also enabled the panel to generate their own meta-analyses.
The results are action-based recommendations and treatment algorithms for incontinence patients which also refer the reader back to the relevant evidence, including an annotation regarding the strength of the recommendation.
The panel recognises gaps in the content but underscores the fact that these guidelines are under development and will continue to be updated as new topics are added and fresh evidence on existing topics emerge.
With the release of these guidelines and the adopted evidence-based methodology, the Guidelines Office has taken another step forward in enhancing the quality of the EAU guidelines, and further improving the way clinical guidelines are written.
For more information on PICO questions, see http://www.usc.edu/hsc/ebnet/ebframe/PICO.htm