EAN Guideline Production Group: Procedure for updating EAN guidelines
The EAN Scientific Committee (SC) determines each year the need for updating guidelines. In addition, each Scientific Panel (SP) may decide to update a guideline at any moment, depending on the new evidence accumulated. Here we present a point-to-point explanation of the whole process.
- A Task Force (TF) is established either upon the request of the SC or on the initiative of the SPs in order to update a guideline. The composition of the TF is similar to that of a new guideline and might or might not be the same. The former chairperson of a guideline can remain the chair of the updated guideline or the SC/SP may appoint another chair. If the update is proposed by the SP, the chair of the TF sends a proposal to the chair of the SC, including a list of TF members, and a brief background illustrating the need for an update.
- In case of acceptance, the TF chair collects a Register of Interest form of each TF member. The requirements and a procedure for management of conflicts of interest are the same as for a new guideline.
- The TF chair submits a protocol of the guideline to the SC. The protocol is the same as in case of a new guideline. The TF may apply for financial support for the guideline production from the EAN. In this case, the TF must nominate a treasurer and submit an annual budget to the EAN Board.
- The guideline protocol is evaluated by the SC chair and the members; and is approved, rejected, or returned for revision. After the final approval by the SC, the TF chair will be informed about the EAN endorsement. The TF has 12 months to complete the guideline.
- The production of the updated guideline will follow the 2012 guidance paper [Leone MA et al. Practical recommendations for the process of proposing, planning and writing a neurological management guideline by EAN task forces. Eur J Neurol. 2015 Aug 12], using the GRADE methodology. The EAN Guideline Production Group may assist the TF with methodological approach, and is responsible for monitoring the entire workflow of updating EAN guidelines.
- The format of the updated guidelines will be that for the European Journal of Neurology, the official journal of the EAN, following the same template as for the new guideline. The title should read: EAN Guideline on …… Update (date). Report of the EAN Task Force on ……… (title of the Task Force, if different from a topic of the guideline).
- All the following processes (conflicts of interest, submission, revision, final approval, collaboration with other scientific societies, translation) and requirements will be the same as for the new guideline.
- Guidelines with substantial modifications will be published in the European Journal of Neurology and on the EAN website. Guidelines with minor modifications will be published on the EAN website only.
- Any updated guideline will be announced in Neuropenews, a news blog of the EAN. EAN members will be allowed to publish comments online.