WHO Guidelines for Guidelines 2008 Update and overview for Guideline Group Members
Revised process from 2008 • New WHO Guideline review committee • Revised WHO guidelines for guidelines • Minimum standards for: • Reporting • Processes • Use of evidence • Different types of guidance documents recognised to fit different purposes: • Emergency • Standard • Full • 'Books ' • Joint guidelines?
Minimum standards for reporting in WHO guidelines: • Who was involved and their declaration of interests • How the guideline was developed, including • how the evidence was identified • how the recommendations were made • Use by date (review by date)
Practicalities • For principle and/or controversial recommendations: • Synthesis of ALL available evidence • Evidence summaries for group meetings using standard template • Formal assessment of quality of evidence • Consideration of resource use and costs • Link evidence to recommendations, explaining reasons for judgements
What type of outcomes should WHO consider • Important outcomes (e.g. mortality, morbidity, quality of life) should be preferred over surrogate, indirect outcomes, (e.g. CD4, cholesterol levels, lung function) that may or may not correlate with patient important outcomes. • Ethical considerations should be part of the evaluation of important outcomes (e.g. impacts on autonomy). • Desirable (benefits, less burden and savings) and undesirable effects should be considered in all guidelines. • Undesirable effects include harms (including the possibility of unanticipated adverse effects), greater burden (e.g. having to go to the doctor) & costs (including opportunity costs).
Judging the quality of evidence requires considering the context In the context of a systematic review • The quality of evidence reflects the extent to which we are confident that an estimate of effect is correct. In the context of making recommendations • The quality of evidence reflects the extent to which our confidence in an estimate of the effect is adequate to support a particular recommendation.
What types of evidence should be used to address different types of questions? • Evidence of the effects of the interventions or actions that are considered in a recommendation are essential, but not sufficient • Other types of required evidence are largely context specific. • Study designs to be included in reviews should be dictated by the interventions/outcomes being considered. • There is uncertainty regarding what study designs to include for some specific types of questions, particularly for questions regarding population interventions, harmful effects and interventions where there is only limited human evidence. • Decisions about the range of study designs to include should be made explicitly. • Great caution should be taken to avoid confusing a lack of evidence with evidence of no effect, and to acknowledge uncertainty. • Expert opinion is not a type of study design and should not be used as evidence. The evidence (experience or observations) that is the basis of expert opinions should be identified and appraised in a systematic and transparent way.
Recommendations are judgements- guided by • Quality of evidence • Trade off between benefits and harms • Costs • Values and preferences • Feasibility of implementation
Developing recommendations All recommendations should be classified into: • Strong • Weak • Conditional (research , time or group)
Judgments about the strength of a recommendation –criteria to consider for WHO
Considering cost • Resource implications, including health system changes, for each recommendation in a WHO guideline should be explored. At the minimum, a qualitative description that can serve as a gross indicator of the amount of resources needed, relative to current practice, should be provided. • A scenario approach can be used, and will also need to include health system implications of the recommendations, from training, changes in supervision, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, etc. • Ideally models should be made available and designed to allow for analysts to make changes in key parameters and reapply results in their own country. • Users of the guidelines need to work out the cost implications for their own service
Expected Functions of the guideline group • Review scope and questions for guideline • Advise & Identify outcomes critical for decision making • To advise on the interpretation of the evidence with explicit consideration of the overall balance of risks and benefits • Provide end user input • Formulate recommendations taking into account diverse values and preferences. • Review drafts of guideline document • Review and approve final recommendations
Tasks for this meeting • Review evidence summaries • Appraise risk/benefit, cost feasibility of recommendations • Agree on final recommendations