Checklist for the application of the consensus approach in the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines
2Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China
Standardized scientific research methods are necessary for reliable results, and consensus methods integrate the opinions of interest groups to make better decisions, though there is no complete consensus on the specifics of its application in guideline development.
Objectives: A comprehensive proposed checklist of recommendations for the effective and prudent application of consensus methods in guideline development.
Methods: A nominal group of guideline development experts, methodologists, and standards development experts were convened to discuss and evaluate the items of the checklist after two meetings. Two researchers initially selected items to extract and integrate key information from the literature on the application of the consensus method; they then invited a third researcher to evaluate and improve the items.
Results: During the first phase of the meeting, 23 suggestions were proposed and discussed. In the second round of voting, consensus was reached on most items, with adjustments made on whether they were required or supplementary. The final checklist summarizes three areas—building a group, design, and implementation—with a total of 11 topics, 64 essential items, and 28 supplementary items.
Conclusions: This checklist is intended to help guideline developers plan the consensus process to ensure no important steps are missed. It is hoped that more experts will be organized to demonstrate and improve this list of suggestions in the future to improve its rigor and normativeness. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: The checklist emphasizes the significance of involving patients and the public in consensus discussions about guidelines recommendation.