Methods used for developing graded recommendations
For each of the systematic reviews, the research assistant and secretariat prepared evidence reports for the working group, with advice from the methodologist.
The working group met in person to interpret the evidence and develop evidence-based recommendations. For each recommendation, the working group identified the relevant body of evidence (e.g. the full set of studies in the evidence report, or a selection where a recommendation was based on a sub-population or a specific intervention).
The working group graded each recommendation using the NHMRC system for grading a recommendation.1
The methodologist and research assistant gave specific advice on how to score the ‘consistency’ and ‘evidence base' domains. Advice was also given to help score the remaining domains.
The working groups finalised the recommendation grades over a series of face-to-face meetings and teleconferences, supplemented by online surveys to streamline the process.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). NHMRC additional levels of evidence and grades for recommendations for developers of guidelines. NHMRC, Canberra, 2009. Available from: https://nhmrc.gov.au/research-policy/guideline-development/resources-guideline-developers