Development of rapid guidelines: 1. Systematic survey of current practices and methods.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Guidelines in the healthcare field generally should contain evidence-based recommendations to inform healthcare decisions. Guidelines often require 2 years or more to develop, but certain circumstances necessitate the development of rapid guidelines (RGs) in a short period of time. Upholding methodological rigor while meeting the reduced development timeframe presents a challenge for developing RGs. Our objective was to review current practices and standards for the development of RGs. This is the first of a series of three articles addressing methodological issues around RGs. METHODS:We conducted a systematic survey of methods manuals and published RGs to identify reasons for the development of RGs. Data sources included existing guideline manuals, published RGs, Trip Medical Database, MEDLINE, EMBASE and communication with guideline developers until February 2018. RESULTS:We identified 46 guidelines that used a shortened timeframe for their development. Nomenclature describing RGs varied across organisations, wherein the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced 'Interim Guidelines', the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the United Kingdom developed 'Short Clinical Guidelines', and WHO provided 'Rapid Advice'. The rationale for RGs included response to emergencies, rapid increases in cases of a condition or disease severity, or new evidence regarding treatment. In general, the methods to assess the quality of evidence, the consensus process and the management of the conflict of interest were not always clear. While we identified another 11 RGs from other institutions, there was no reference to timeframe and reasons for conducting a RG. The three organisations mentioned above provide guidance for the development of RGs. CONCLUSIONS:There is a lack of standardised nomenclature and definitions regarding RGs and there is inconsistency in the methods described in manuals and in RG. It is therefore important that all RGs provide a detailed and transparent description of their methods in order for readers and end-users to be able to assess their quality and validate their findings.
Project description:Situations such as public health emergencies and outbreaks necessitate the development and publication of high-quality recommendations within a condensed timeframe. For example, WHO has produced examples of and guidance for the development of rapid guidelines (RGs). However, more information is needed to understand the experiences and perceptions of guideline developers. This is the second of a series of three articles addressing methodological issues around RGs. This study describes the perceptions and experiences of guideline developers at WHO about RGs.We conducted interviews consisting of open- and closed-ended questions with guideline developers at WHO. Our analysis described the definition and rationale of RGs, the differences from regular guidelines with regard to timelines from topic definition until publication, barriers to identifying the evidence and the lack of a standard methodology to develop RGs.We interviewed 10 participants, the majority of whom were comfortable with the current WHO definition of RGs. Most stated that the rationale for developing RGs should be in response to new evidence about efficacy, cost-effectiveness or safety. Respondents differed with regards to the amount of time RGs should take. While the majority of participants agreed that guidelines should be based on a systematic review, this step in the process was considered the most time and resource intensive. Challenges for developing RGs included limited personnel and financial resources as well as the lack of evidence. Facilitators, in turn, that may improve RG development include additional financial and personnel resources as well as the use of virtual meetings.While our study suggests a strong need and rationale for the development of RGs, standardisation of timelines and guidance on panel composition, peer-review process, conduct of meetings and sources of permissible evidence require further research.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Although several tools to evaluate the credibility of health care guidelines exist, guidance on practical steps for developing guidelines is lacking. We systematically compiled a comprehensive checklist of items linked to relevant resources and tools that guideline developers could consider, without the expectation that every guideline would address each item. METHODS: We searched data sources, including manuals of international guideline developers, literature on guidelines for guidelines (with a focus on methodology reports from international and national agencies, and professional societies) and recent articles providing systematic guidance. We reviewed these sources in duplicate, extracted items for the checklist using a sensitive approach and developed overarching topics relevant to guidelines. In an iterative process, we reviewed items for duplication and omissions and involved experts in guideline development for revisions and suggestions for items to be added. RESULTS: We developed a checklist with 18 topics and 146 items and a webpage to facilitate its use by guideline developers. The topics and included items cover all stages of the guideline enterprise, from the planning and formulation of guidelines, to their implementation and evaluation. The final checklist includes links to training materials as well as resources with suggested methodology for applying the items. INTERPRETATION: The checklist will serve as a resource for guideline developers. Consideration of items on the checklist will support the development, implementation and evaluation of guidelines. We will use crowdsourcing to revise the checklist and keep it up to date.
Project description:Real-time reverse transcription PCR (qPCR) normalized to an internal reference gene (RG), is a frequently used method for quantifying gene expression changes in neuroscience. Although RG expression is assumed to be constant independent of physiological or experimental conditions, several studies have shown that commonly used RGs are not expressed stably. The use of unstable RGs has a profound effect on the conclusions drawn from studies on gene expression, and almost universally results in spurious estimation of target gene expression. Approaches aimed at selecting and validating RGs often make use of different statistical methods, which may lead to conflicting results. Based on published RG validation studies involving hypoxia the present study evaluates the expression of 5 candidate RGs (Actb, Pgk1, Sdha, Gapdh, Rnu6b) as a function of hypoxia exposure and hypothermic treatment in the neonatal rat cerebral cortex-in order to identify RGs that are stably expressed under these experimental conditions-using several statistical approaches that have been proposed to validate RGs. In doing so, we first analyzed RG ranking stability proposed by several widely used statistical methods and related tools, i.e. the Coefficient of Variation (CV) analysis, GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and the ?Ct method. Using the Geometric mean rank, Pgk1 was identified as the most stable gene. Subsequently, we compared RG expression patterns between the various experimental groups. We found that these statistical methods, next to producing different rankings per se, all ranked RGs displaying significant differences in expression levels between groups as the most stable RG. As a consequence, when assessing the impact of RG selection on target gene expression quantification, substantial differences in target gene expression profiles were observed. Altogether, by assessing mRNA expression profiles within the neonatal rat brain cortex in hypoxia and hypothermia as a showcase, this study underlines the importance of further validating RGs for each individual experimental paradigm, considering the limitations of the statistical methods used for this aim.
Project description:During the development of the cortex, newly generated neurons migrate long-distances in the expanding tissue to reach their final positions. Pyramidal neurons are produced from dorsal progenitors, e.g., radial glia (RGs) in the ventricular zone, and then migrate along RG processes basally toward the cortex. These neurons are hence dependent upon RG extensions to support their migration from apical to basal regions. Several studies have investigated how intracellular determinants are required for RG polarity and subsequent formation and maintenance of their processes. Fewer studies have identified the influence of the extracellular environment on this architecture. This review will focus on extracellular factors which influence RG morphology and pyramidal neuronal migration during normal development and their perturbations in pathology. During cortical development, RGs are present in different strategic positions: apical RGs (aRGs) have their cell bodies located in the ventricular zone with an apical process contacting the ventricle, while they also have a basal process extending radially to reach the pial surface of the cortex. This particular conformation allows aRGs to be exposed to long range and short range signaling cues, whereas basal RGs (bRGs, also known as outer RGs, oRGs) have their cell bodies located throughout the cortical wall, limiting their access to ventricular factors. Long range signals impacting aRGs include secreted molecules present in the embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (e.g., Neuregulin, EGF, FGF, Wnt, BMP). Secreted molecules also contribute to the extracellular matrix (fibronectin, laminin, reelin). Classical short range factors include cell to cell signaling, adhesion molecules and mechano-transduction mechanisms (e.g., TAG1, Notch, cadherins, mechanical tension). Changes in one or several of these components influencing the RG extracellular environment can disrupt the development or maintenance of RG architecture on which neuronal migration relies, leading to a range of cortical malformations. First, we will detail the known long range signaling cues impacting RG. Then, we will review how short range cell contacts are also important to instruct the RG framework. Understanding how RG processes are structured by their environment to maintain and support radial migration is a critical part of the investigation of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Project description:AIM:To construct a system for selecting reference genes (RGs) and to select the most optimal RGs for gene expression studies in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). METHODS:The total RNAs from 20 NPC samples were each labeled with Cy5-dUTP. To create a common control, the total RNA from 15 nasopharyngeal phlogistic (NP) tissues was mixed and labeled via reverse transcription with Cy3-dUTP. cDNA microarrays containing 14 112 genes were then performed. A mathematical approach was constructed to screen stably expressed genes from the microarray data. Using this method, three genes (YARS, EIF3S7, and PFDN1) were selected as candidate RGs. Furthermore, 7 commonly used RGs (HPRT1, GAPDH, TBP, ACTB, B2M, G6PDH, and HBB) were selected as additional potential RGs. Real-time PCR was used to detect these 10 candidate genes' expression levels and the geNorm program was used to find the optimal RGs for NPC studies. RESULTS:On the basis of the 10 candidate genes' expression stability level, geNorm analysis identified the optimal single RG (YARS or HPRT1) and the most suitable set of RGs (HPRT1, YARS, and EIF3S7) for NPC gene expression studies. In addition, this analysis determined that B2M, G6PDH, and HBB were not appropriate for use as RGs. Interestingly, ACTB was the least stable RG in our study, even though previous studies had indicated that it was one of the most stable RGs. Three novel candidate genes (YARS, EIF3S7, and PFDN1), which were selected from microarray data, were all identified as suitable RGs for NPC research. A RG-selecting system was then constructed, which combines microarray data analysis, a literature screen, real-time PCR, and bioinformatic analysis. CONCLUSION:We construct a RG-selecting system that helps find the optimal RGs. This process, applied to NPC research, determined the single RG (YARS or HPRT1) and the set of RGs (HPRT1, YARS, and EIF3S7) that are the most suitable internal controls.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the approval processes for evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines sponsored by medical specialty societies in the United States. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:Cross-sectional analysis of published Clinical Practice Guidelines and Guideline procedure manuals, sponsored by the 43 members of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies in the United States. Approval processes were measured by written evidence in the specialty society's guideline procedure manual or published guidelines, through May 2017. RESULTS:Among the 36 (of 43) specialty societies that published evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines, 27 (75%) required approval by a committee representing the society as a whole. None specified the criteria used for approval decisions. Six specialty societies (17%) required approval but included procedures to maintain some editorial independence for the guideline development group, such as approval by a guideline committee not an executive committee or approval dependent on fidelity to established guideline methodology, not content. One society required Board review, but not approval. The approval process was not reported by 2 (6%) of the specialty societies. CONCLUSIONS:Most medical specialty societies in the U.S. require approval of guidelines by a board that represents the society as whole. Since medical specialty societies have loyalties to the patients they serve and to their physician members, and because the interests of those two groups may differ, such an approval process introduces a potential conflict of interest into the guideline development process.
Project description:Background: Many organisations in Australia undertake systematic reviews to inform development of evidence-based guidelines or would like to do so. However, the substantial resources required to produce systematic reviews limit the feasibility of evidence-based approaches to guideline development. We are working with Australian guideline developers to design, build and test systems that make creating evidence-based guidelines easier and more efficient. Methods: To understand the evidence needs of guideline developers and to inform the development of potential tools and services, we conducted 16 semi-structured interviews with Australian guideline developers. Developers were involved in different types of guidelines, represented both new and established guideline groups, and had access to widely different levels of resources. Results: All guideline developers recognised the importance of having access to timely evidence to support their processes, but were frequently overwhelmed by the scale of this task. Groups developing new guidelines often underestimated the time, expertise and work involved in completing searching and screening. Many were grappling with the challenge of updating and were keen to explore alternatives to the blanket updating of the full guideline. Horizon-scanning and evidence signalling were seen as providing more pragmatic approaches to updating, although some were wary of challenges posed by receiving evidence on a too-frequent basis. Respondents were aware that new technologies, such as machine learning, offered potentially large time and resource savings. Conclusions: As well as the constant challenge of managing financial constraints, Australian guideline developers seeking to develop clinical guidelines face several critical challenges. These include acquiring appropriate methodological expertise, investing in information technology, coping with the proliferation of research output, feasible publication and dissemination options, and keeping guidance up to date.
Project description:To determine the prevalence of financial conflicts of interest among members of panels producing clinical practice guidelines on screening, treatment, or both for hyperlipidaemia or diabetes.Cross sectional study.Relevant guidelines published by national organisations in the United States and Canada between 2000 and 2010.Members of guideline panels.Prevalence of financial conflicts of interest among members of guideline panels and chairs of panels.Fourteen guidelines met our search criteria, of which five had no accompanying declaration of conflicts of interest by panel members. 288 panel members had participated in the guideline development process. Among the 288 panel members, 138 (48%) reported conflicts of interest at the time of the publication of the guideline and 150 (52%) either stated that they had no such conflicts or did not have an opportunity to declare any. Among 73 panellists who formally declared no conflicts, 8 (11%) were found to have one or more. Twelve of the 14 guideline panels evaluated identified chairs, among whom six had financial conflicts of interest. Overall, 150 (52%) panel members had conflicts, of which 138 were declared and 12 were undeclared. Panel members from government sponsored guidelines were less likely to have conflicts of interest compared with guidelines sponsored by non-government sources (15/92 (16%) v 135/196 (69%); P<0.001).The prevalence of financial conflicts of interest and their under-reporting by members of panels producing clinical practice guidelines on hyperlipidaemia or diabetes was high, and a relatively high proportion of guidelines did not have public disclosure of conflicts of interest. Organisations that produce guidelines should minimise conflicts of interest among panel members to ensure the credibility and evidence based nature of the guidelines' content.
Project description:The precise transcriptional regulation of gene expression is essential for vertebrate development, but the role of posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms is less clear. Cytoplasmic RNA granules (RGs) function in the posttranscriptional control of gene expression, but the extent of RG involvement in organogenesis is unknown. We describe two human cases of pediatric cataract with loss-of-function mutations in TDRD7 and demonstrate that Tdrd7 nullizygosity in mouse causes cataracts, as well as glaucoma and an arrest in spermatogenesis. TDRD7 is a Tudor domain RNA binding protein that is expressed in lens fiber cells in distinct TDRD7-RGs that interact with STAU1-ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). TDRD7 coimmunoprecipitates with specific lens messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and is required for the posttranscriptional control of mRNAs that are critical to normal lens development and to RG function. These findings demonstrate a role for RGs in vertebrate organogenesis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Current recommendations for vitamin D and calcium in dietary guidelines and bone health guidelines vary significantly among countries and professional organisations. It is unknown whether the methods used to develop these recommendations followed a rigourous process and how the differences in methods used may affect the recommended intakes of vitamin D and calcium. The objectives of this study are (1) collate and compare recommendations for vitamin D and calcium across guidelines, (2) appraise methodological quality of the guideline recommendations and (3) identify methodological factors that may affect the recommended intakes for vitamin D and calcium. This study will make a significant contribution to enhancing the methodological rigour in public health guidelines for vitamin D and calcium recommendations. METHODS AND ANALYSES:We will conduct a systematic review to evaluate vitamin D and calcium recommendations for osteoporosis prevention in generally healthy middle-aged and older adults. Methodological assessment will be performed for each guideline against those outlined in the 2014 WHO handbook for guideline development. A systematic search strategy will be applied to locate food-based dietary guidelines and bone health guidelines indexed in various electronic databases, guideline repositories and grey literature from 1 January 2009 to 28 February 2019. Descriptive statistics will be used to summarise the data on intake recommendation and on proportion of guidelines consistent with the WHO criteria. Logistic regression, if feasible, will be used to assess the relationships between the methodological factors and the recommendation intakes. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Ethics approval is not required as we will only extract published data or information from the published guidelines. Results of this review will be disseminated through conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42019126452.