For the 2022 Neuro-Urology Guidelines, new and relevant evidence has been identified, collated, and appraised through a structured assessment of the literature. A broad and comprehensive literature search, covering all sections of the Neuro-Urology Guidelines was performed. Databases searched included Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Libraries, covering a time frame between the 1st of May 2019 and 1st May 2021. A total of 1,743 unique records were identified, retrieved, and screened for relevance. A detailed search strategy is available online: http://uroweb.org/guideline/neuro-urology/?type=appendices-publications.
For each recommendation within the guidelines there is an accompanying online strength rating form which includes the assessment of the benefit to harms ratio and patients’ preferences for each recommendation. The strength rating forms draw on the guiding principles of the GRADE methodology but do not purport to be GRADE [7,8]. Each strength rating form addresses a number of key elements namely:
- the overall quality of the evidence which exists for the recommendation, references used in this text are graded according to a classification system modified from the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence ;
- the magnitude of the effect (individual or combined effects);
- the certainty of the results (precision, consistency, heterogeneity and other statistical or study related factors);
- the balance between desirable and undesirable outcomes;
- the impact of patient values and preferences on the intervention;
- the certainty of those patient values and preferences.
These key elements are the basis which panels use to define the strength rating of each recommendation. The strength of each recommendation is represented by the words ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ . The strength of each recommendation is determined by the balance between desirable and undesirable consequences of alternative management strategies, the quality of the evidence (including certainty of estimates), and nature and variability of patient values and preferences.
Additional information can be found in the general Methodology section of this print, and online at the EAU website; http://www.uroweb.org/guideline/. A list of associations endorsing the EAU Guidelines can also be viewed online at the above address.
Publications ensuing from panel-lead systematic reviews (SR) have all been peer-reviewed. The 2015 Neuro-Urology Guidelines were subject to peer review prior to publication.