Setting the clinical scope
Formulating clinical questions
The Guidelines Committee agreed on a comprehensive list of over 350 clinical questions, based on the content of the Asthma Management Handbook 2006, the advice of the expert reviewers and the user survey results.
Each working group confirmed the scope of their section at the initial contributor workshop held in August 2011 and subsequent teleconferences. For each topic area, the working group reviewed and refined the clinical questions. The agreed list of clinical questions formed the scope of the Handbook.
Selecting clinical questions for systematic review
The Guideline committee selected clinical questions for systematic review, which fulfilled the following criteria:
- relevant to primary care (i.e. a topic on which primary care health professionals or patients need guidance, based on the experience of Guidelines Committee members)
- likely to influence practice
- likely to improve outcomes for people with asthma (e.g. improve clinical outcomes or provide patients with more reliable advice on their choices).
Assigning status to remaining clinical questions
Each working group assigned a status for each of the clinical questions within their section, according to one of the following categories:
- high-priority questions for limited (non-systematic) structured literature searches
- questions for which sufficient evidence has already been identified