Applying GRADE for diagnosis revealed methodological challenges: an illustrative example for guideline developers

M. Tuut*, H. de Beer, J. Burgers, E.J. van de Griendt, T. van der Weijden, M. Langendam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective: To identify challenges in the application of GRADE for diagnosis when assessing the certainty of evidence in the test-treatment strategy (diagnostic accuracy, test burden, management effectiveness, natural course, linked evidence) in an illustrative example and to propose solutions to these challenges.Study design and setting: A case study in applying GRADE for diagnosis that looked at the added value of IgE for diagnosing allergic rhinitis.Results: Evaluation of the full test-treatment strategy showed a lack of (high-quality) evidence for all elements. In our example, we found a lack of evidence for test burden, natural course, and link between the test result and clinical management. Overall, systematically reviewing the evidence for all elements of a test-treatment strategy is more time-consuming than only considering test accuracy results and management effectiveness. For increasing efficiency, the guideline panel could determine critical elements of the test-treatment strategy that need a systematic review of the evidence. For less critical elements, a guideline panel can rely on gray literature and professional expertise.Conclusion: A lack of high-quality evidence and time investment if the full test-treatment strategy is assessed, creating challenges in applying GRADE for diagnosis. Discussion within guideline panels about critical elements that need to be reviewed might help. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Diagnosis
  • Evidence
  • GRADE
  • Guidelines
  • Medical tests
  • Systematic review
  • SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS
  • EFFICACY
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • NATURAL-HISTORY
  • FUROATE NASAL SPRAY
  • DOUBLE-BLIND
  • SEASONAL ALLERGIC RHINITIS
  • INTRANASAL CORTICOSTEROIDS
  • NONALLERGIC RHINITIS
  • HEALTH-CARE

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