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A memorandum of understanding has facilitated guideline development involving collaborating groups

  • Murad Alam
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. +1-312-695-6647, Fax: (312) 695-0044.
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Departments of Dermatology, Surgery, and Otolaryngology, and Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Thomas SD Getchius
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Guideline Strategy and Operations, American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology, Dallas, TX, USA
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  • Holger Schünemann
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact; Michael G DeGroote Cochrane Canada and McMaster GRADE Centres; Department of Medicine; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

    Guidelines International Network (GIN) Board of Trustees

    Institute for Evidence in Medicine, Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
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  • Yasser Sami Amer
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Quality Management Department; Pediatrics Department; Research Chair for Evidence-Based Health Care and Knowledge Translation, Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    Alexandria Center for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
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  • Aggie Bak
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Evidence Synthesis, Healthcare Infection Society, London, UK
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  • Lisa A Fatheree
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Governance Services and Executive Operations, College of American Pathologists (CAP), Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Pamela Ginex
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Evidence-based Practice, Oncology Nursing Society, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • Priya Jakhmola
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Guideline Development, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
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  • Gemma L Marsden
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Research & Development, Healthcare Infection Society, London, UK
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  • Emma McFarlane
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Centre for Guidelines, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Manchester, UK
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  • Martin Meremikwu
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Cochrane Nigeria, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
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  • Nichole Taske
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Manchester, UK
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  • Robyn L Temple-Smolkin
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Association for Molecular Pathology, Rockville, MD, USA
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  • Christina Ventura
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center, College of American Pathologists, Northfield, IL, USA
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  • Jako Burgers
    Affiliations
    Dutch College of General Practitioners, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Care and Public Health Research Institute, Department Family Medicine, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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  • Lisa Bradfield
    Affiliations
    American Society for Radiation Oncology, Arlington, VA, USA
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  • Mary Dolan O'Brien
    Affiliations
    American Academy of Neurology, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • Kaitlin Einhaus
    Affiliations
    American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA, USA
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  • Ina B Kopp
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN) Board of Trustees

    Association of the Scientific Medical Societies’ Institute for Medical Knowledge-Management (AWMF-IMWi), Philipps-University, Marburg, Germany
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  • Zachary Munn
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN) Board of Trustees

    Joanna Briggs Institute, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
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  • Luigia Scudeller
    Affiliations
    Medical Guidelines Director, European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Basel, Switzerland

    Research and Innovation Unit, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
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  • Corinna Schaefer
    Affiliations
    Departments for Evidence Based Medicine/Guidelines and Patient Information/Patient Involvement, German Agency for Quality in Medicine (AQuMed), Berlin, Germany
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  • Sarah A Ibrahim
    Affiliations
    Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Bianca Y Kang
    Affiliations
    Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • Toju Ogunremi
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Rebecca L Morgan
    Affiliations
    Guidelines International Network (GIN), Guidelines Collaboration Working Group

    Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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  • on behalf of theGuidelines International Network (GIN) Guidelines Collaboration Working Group.
Published:December 16, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.12.022

      Abstract

      Objective

      Collaboration between groups can facilitate the development of high-quality guidelines. While collaboration is often desirable, misunderstandings can occur. One method to minimize misunderstandings is the pre-specification of terms of engagement in a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This study considered when an MOU may be most helpful, and which key elements should be included.

      Study design and setting

      An international panel of representatives from guideline groups was convened. A literature review to identify publications and other documents relevant to the establishment of MOUs between two or more guideline groups, supplemented by available source documents, was used to inform development of a draft MOU resource. This was iteratively refined until consensus was achieved.

      Results

      The level of detail in an MOU may vary based on institutional preferences and the particular collaboration. Elements within an MOU include those pertaining to: (1) scope and purpose; (2) leadership and team; (3) methods and commitment; (4) review and endorsement; and (5) publication and dissemination.

      Conclusion

      Since groups may have different expectations regarding how a collaboration will unfold, an MOU may mitigate preventable misunderstandings. The result may be a higher likelihood of producing a guideline without disruption and delay.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      AGREE II (appraisal of guidelines for research & evaluation instrument), AGREE-REX (appraisal of guidelines for research & evaluation recommendation excellence), COI (conflicts of interest), GIN (guidelines international network), GLIA (guideline implementability appraisal), GRADE (grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation), iCAHE (international centre for allied health evidence] guideline quality check list), MOA (memorandum of agreement), MOU (memorandum of understanding), PICAR (population and clinical areas, interventions, comparators, attributes of CPGs, and recommendation characteristics), PICO (population, intervention, control, and outcomes), PIPOH (professions, outcomes and health care system), PROSPERO (international prospective register of systematic reviews), RIGHT (reporting items for practice guidelines in HealThcare), RWI (relationships with industry), USPSTF (United States preventive services task force)
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