Methods used for developing other recommendations
Working groups developed recommendations according to a range of methods, depending on the category of clinical question:
- For clinical questions subject to systematic review, but where insufficient evidence was identified, the working group developed consensus-based recommendations.
- For ‘high-priority’ clinical questions for which structured literature searches were conducted, the working group developed recommendations based on selected evidence.
- For clinical questions for which the working group had identified sufficient existing evidence and did not run formal literature searches, the working group adapted or adopted recommendations in existing guidelines, or formulated recommendations based on the findings of published systematic reviews.
- For other clinical questions, the working group developed consensus recommendations.
Recommendations were revised over time by working group members in teleconferences and face-to-face meetings. Selected working group members checked consistency between topic sections. All recommendations were reviewed by the Guidelines Committee.
An icon system is used throughout the Handbook to indicate the method used to develop each recommendation. The methodology details and, where relevant, key evidence considered for that recommendation is viewable by clicking the icon under the recommendation.