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Standardized wording to improve efficiency and clarity of GRADE EtD frameworks in health guidelines

      Abstract

      Background

      Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Evidence-to-Decision (EtDs) frameworks are increasingly applied by health guideline developers to improve the use of evidence and transparency of health recommendations. Typically, EtDs include 12 criteria but these are flexible and EtDs have been adapted to different types of health decisions. However, developers of health recommendations struggle with the content that they should include in the EtD. The goal of this work was to provide a standardized template that facilitate the development of GRADE EtDs in health guidelines and examples for practical training.

      Methods

      We began by establishing the need for standardized wording templates in 10 American Society of Hematology guidelines with over 250 recommendations. We drafted template wording, and examples, and sought iterative feedback from methodologists and guideline panels in this guideline and two additional guidelines.

      Results

      We generated templates for all EtD criteria describing the type of research evidence considered, ideally based on systematic reviews, using standardized reporting of effect size, integrating the certainty of evidence and additional considerations. We also produced templates to inform the completion of the EtD conclusions section that includes recommendations, justification, implementation considerations, monitoring and evaluation and research priorities.

      Conclusion

      We developed a pragmatic and useful tool to support clarity, transparency, and efficiency of the guideline EtD process.

      Keywords

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