-To develop an appraisal instrument to compare the different approaches to guideline development in Europe.
-To identify potential areas for harmonisation of guideline development in order to minimise duplication of efforts and maximise efficiency of guideline development in individual countries.
Clinical Guidelines are being used in health care systems throughout Europe to improve the quality of patient care. An increasing concern is the number of guidelines in specific clinical areas that contain conflicting recommendations. Clinicians, managers and policy makers will wish to make informed decisions on which recommendations to follow. There is a need for a common, valid and transparent approach to assessing the quality of each guideline. An essential prerequisite to the creation of valid guidelines is the identification of the underlying research evidence, explicit linking of this evidence to recommendations, and ensuring that non-evidence based recommendations are based on appropriately structured professional consensus. It is now an appropriate time to create a coordinated European approach to the appraisal of clinical guidelines. The proposed concerted action (CA) will create the framework to achieve this, providing added value to existing research programmes in individual countries. The main aim of the CA is to develop an appraisal instrument to compare the different approaches to guideline development in Europe. This approach will identify potential areas for harmonisation in order to minimise duplication of efforts and maximise efficiency of guideline development in individual countries.
The tasks of the CA are to:
I) Describe the guideline development processes and procedures in collaborative countries;
II) Develop a common set of appraisal criteria for clinical guidelines (European Union Critical Appraisal Instrument for Guidelines [EUCAIG]);
III) develop an instrument to facilitate the implementation of guidelines;
IV) appraise and compare 3 sets of disease specific guidelines from the collaborating countries and determine the underlying causes for the discrepancies in recommendations;
V) Make recommendations for guideline development in Europe, identifying the potential to share aspects of guideline development or guidelines across EC countries;
VI) Disseminate the results of this work to all EC countries and;
VII) Maintain and support the concertation.
The CA will be reinforced by:
i) a network resource to manage the clinical content analysis of the guidelines;
ii) a targeted training and mobility component to disseminate the theoretical, methodological and service information and experience. The CA will create a common set of appraisal criteria that will allow across country comparisons.
The success of this project will be assessed on a number of dimensions:
ii) improvement in health service quality.
KEYWORDS (max 10): Clinical Guidelines, Critical Appraisal, Quality_Assurance, Clinical Audit, Evidence-based.05 05