Guidelines International Network: Toward International Standards for Clinical Practice Guidelines

Amir Qaseem*, Frode Forland, Fergus Macbeth, Guenter Ollenschlaeger, Sue Phillips, Philip J. van der Wees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

467 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Guideline development processes vary substantially, and many guidelines do not meet basic quality criteria. Standards for guideline development can help organizations ensure that recommendations are evidence-based and can help users identify high-quality guidelines. Such organizations as the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have developed recommendations to define trustworthy guidelines within their locales. Many groups charged with guideline development find the lengthy list of standards developed by such organizations to be aspirational but infeasible to follow in entirety. Founded in 2002, the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) is a network of guideline developers that includes 93 organizations and 89 individual members representing 46 countries. The G-I-N board of trustees recognized the importance of guideline development processes that are both rigorous and feasible even for modestly funded groups to implement and initiated an effort toward consensus about minimum standards for high-quality guidelines. In contrast to other existing standards for guideline development at national or local levels, the key components proposed by G-I-N will represent the consensus of an international, multidisciplinary group of active guideline developers. This article presents G-I-N's proposed set of key components for guideline development. These key components address panel composition, decision-making process, conflicts of interest, guideline objective, development methods, evidence review, basis of recommendations, ratings of evidence and recommendations, guideline review, updating processes, and funding. It is hoped that this article promotes discussion and eventual agreement on a set of international standards for guideline development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume156
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2012

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