Methods for Living Guidelines: Early Guidance based on practical experience. Paper 3: Selecting and prioritising questions for living guidelines

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      HIGHLIGHTS: What is new?

      • Development of best practice principles for prioritising questions for living guidelines.
      • Approaches for selection of questions for living mode using living criteria.
      • Practical prioritisation of questions via workflow planning and meaningful engagement with decision makers.
      • Revision of prioritisation levels throughout the living guideline lifecycle.
      • Consideration of when to retire a question from living mode and introduce new questions.



      This article is part of a series on methods for living guidelines, consolidating practical experiences from developing living guidelines. It focuses on methods for identification, selection, and prioritisation of clinical questions for a living approach to guideline development.

      Study design and setting

      Members of the Australian Living Evidence Consortium (ALEC), the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the US Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) Network, convened a working group. All members have expertise and practical experience in the development of living guidelines. We collated methods documents on prioritisation from each organisation’s living guidelines, conducted interviews and held working group discussions. We consolidated these to form best-practice principles, which were then edited and agreed on by the working group members.


      We developed best-practice principles for 1) identification, 2) selection, and 3) prioritisation, of questions for a living approach to guideline development. Several different strategies for undertaking prioritising questions are explored.


      The paper provides guidance for prioritising questions in living guidelines. Subsequent papers in this series explore consumer involvement, search decisions, and methods decisions, that are appropriate for questions with different priority levels.

      Key words

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