Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US Institute of Medicine recommends standards to achieve reliable clinical practice guidelines

Date:
March 23, 2011
Source:
National Academy of Sciences
Summary:
Two new reports from the US Institute of Medicine recommend standards to enhance the quality and reliability of these important tools for informing health care decisions.

Clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews of the evidence base for health care services are supposed to offer health care providers, patients, and organizations authoritative guidance on the comparable pros and cons of various care options, but too often they are of uncertain or poor quality. There are no universally accepted standards for developing systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines, leading to variability in the handling of conflicts of interest, appraisals of evidence, and the rigor of the evaluations. Two new reports from the Institute of Medicine recommend standards to enhance the quality and reliability of these important tools for informing health care decisions.

Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust recommends eight standards to ensure the objective, transparent development of trustworthy guidelines. Several problems hinder providers' and others' ability to determine which among thousands of sometimes competing guidelines offer reliable clinical recommendations. Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews recommends 21 standards to ensure objective, transparent, and scientifically valid reviews. Poor quality reviews can lead clinicians to the wrong conclusions and ultimately to inappropriate treatment decisions.

"These standards are necessary given that there is little documentation to judge the quality and reliability of many of the existing clinical practice guidelines," said Sheldon Greenfield, Donald Bren Professor of Medicine and executive director, Health Policy Research Institute, University of California, Irvine, and chair of the committee on guidelines. "Practice guidelines provide valuable data and guidance that not only inform individual decisions about care but ultimately could also improve overall health care quality and outcomes."

"This report presents the 'gold standard' to which those who conduct systematic reviews should aspire to achieve the most reliable and useful products," said Alfred O. Berg, professor of family medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, and chair of the committee that wrote the report on systematic reviews. "We recognize that it will take an investment of resources and time to achieve such high standards, but they should be adopted to minimize the chances that important health decisions are based on information that may be biased or erroneous."

To prevent actual or perceived conflicts of interest from eroding trust in clinical practice guidelines, members of guideline development groups should not have intellectual, institutional, financial, or other forms of conflicts whenever possible, says the guidelines report. However, if a group cannot perform its work without conflicted individuals, they should make up only a minority of the members. Those who fund guideline development work should have no role in the development process. Similarly, individuals with clear financial conflicts of interest as well as those with professional or intellectual biases that would lessen an evaluation's credibility should be excluded from the teams that conduct systematic reviews, the report on reviews says.

Getting input from consumers, health professionals, insurers, and other intended users can boost the quality of reviews and guidelines and make them more relevant. Guideline development groups should include a current or former patient and a patient advocate or representative of a consumer organization. Systematic reviews should include a method to collect information from individuals with relevant perspectives and expertise. Individuals providing input should publicly acknowledge their potential biases and conflicts and be excluded from the process if their participation would diminish the evaluation's credibility.

People expect clinical practice guidelines to provide an accurate, fair account of the potential benefits and harms of various health care options and they expect systematic reviews to provide a complete picture of all that is known about an intervention. Because guideline developers often have to make subjective judgments about evidence, especially when it is low-quality or limited, they should explicitly describe the part that value judgments, theory, or clinical experience played in their recommendations, the guidelines report says. They should explain the reasoning underlying each recommendation they make, including their assessment of the quality, completeness, and consistency of the available evidence. Teams conducting systematic reviews should not limit their evaluations to the published literature or large databases because negative findings sometimes go unpublished and these tools provide only a partial picture of the evidence, the report on reviews says. Reviewers should seek out relevant unpublished information. And they should clearly describe the team's methodology, selection criteria, and assessment of the evidence, including what remains unknown about the topic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academy of Sciences. "US Institute of Medicine recommends standards to achieve reliable clinical practice guidelines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140146.htm>.
National Academy of Sciences. (2011, March 23). US Institute of Medicine recommends standards to achieve reliable clinical practice guidelines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140146.htm
National Academy of Sciences. "US Institute of Medicine recommends standards to achieve reliable clinical practice guidelines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140146.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins