Development of supporting materials
Overviews, figures and tables
Under the guidance of the relevant working group, the medical writer drafted an overview for each of the main sections to provide context for the section’s key advice. In addition, the key recommendations were summarised as practical figures: flow-charts for diagnosis, stepped ziggurats for management and treatment algorithms for acute asthma. These figures underwent close review by the Guidelines Committee before finalisation.
Where necessary, explanatory or supporting tables were drafted by the medical writer under the guidance of the working group. Tables were also used to summarise key points and to highlight recommended actions for relevant clinical situations.
More information topics
The medical writer drafted supporting commentary based on the key references. Each working group reviewed the commentary several times during development. For topics that appeared in more than one section, the most relevant working group took primary responsibility for the drafts.
During review stages, each working group member provided comments on the drafts. The secretariat collated the comments. Where working group members’ suggested amendments were inconsistent, the working group came to consensus by teleconference or polls conducted by email. Remaining issues were directed to the Guidelines Committee for a final decision.
Quick Reference Guide
The Guidelines Committee confirmed the content and format of the Handbook’s Quick Reference Guide during the final revision. Designed as a companion document to the complete online version of the Handbook, only key figures and tables were included with selected section overviews provided for context.
To ensure consistency between the online Handbook and the Quick Reference Guide, all clinical content in the Guide was replicated exactly from the online Handbook. The only exception was the table 'Classification of asthma medicines', which was included in the Guide in an abridged form.