by Lucia Cernicka
Guidelines International Network or G-I-N is a community with a mission to lead, strengthen and support collaboration in guideline production. To enhance its networking role, the G-I-N organises conferences on a regular basis, once a year, in different parts of the world, to reach the broadest audience possible.
For two years now, EAN has been a part of its structure, an organisational member, participating in 2018 for the very first time in the conference which took place in Manchenster, UK in mid-September.
The EAN Guideline production group (GPG) was represented by Professor Maurizio Leone, its leader, and Lucia Cernicka, GPG member and the Head office officer.
This year’s topic was “Why we do what we do. The purpose and impact of the guidelines.“ Experts from different parts of the world met to learn, share and exchange experiences and ideas on guideline production.
The hot topics that were touched upon were, among others,
– patient and public engagement, where does patient choice fit in
– GRADE approach as a gold standard?
– guidelines for rare diseases
– how to reduse bias in guideline development, managing conflict of interest
– does cost matter? – cost-effectiveness of guideline production
– guidelines as living documents
The common challenges that the guideline production community faces are manifold and relate to the ongoing debate/discussions: embedding the voice of the service user in the work, absence of good evidence, developing recommendations with alternative forms of evidence, trustworthiness of guidelines, how to run a successful network to support methodologists, and last but not least training in guideline development as a necessity. There are different ways of approaching guideline production, different views and conditions, but one thing the community can agree upon is that guidelines are of utmost importance and there is still a lot of space for improvement. The fast adoption of new technologies and the social media era call for changes and adaptation.
The “take home message” of the conference was “Together we are stronger – sharing information with one another, learning from each other, building brick upon brick is beneficial to all”.
EAN recognises the importance of high-quality standards and strives to keep up with the latest developments and provide the best possible support to its task forces to increase the work efficiency, not only from the financial point of view, but also methodologically and administratively.
The GPG participated to the conference with the aim to broaden the horizon and got a lot of valuable input that will be translated into future approaches to guideline production. The enlarged GPG plans to focus on the above-mentioned issues, especially on alternatives to guideline papers, patient involvement and educational activities, in order to build a strong base with the skilled and enthusiastic neurologists.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler“ (Albert Einstein)
Lucia Cernicka is an Administrative Officer at EAN and a member of EAN’s Guideline Production Group.