EAN considers the production of neurological guidelines a major obligation, as this is a
tool to improve clinical practice in neurology. Guideline production is in the hands of the Scientific Panels who decide to establish a specific task force (TF)
The EAN Guideline Production Group (GPG) guides each TF though all steps of the EAN guideline development procedure – from proposing a guideline topic to formatting and writing a protocol and a guideline itself.
A flowchart detailing the process that EAN employs for developing practice guidelines can be found on the EAN website.
Once an initial proposal has been accepted an official protocol must be submitted by the task force.
The protocol should have several attributes:
- include the title, objectives, membership, a short explanation as to why the guideline is needed, already existing guidelines on the same or related topics, search strategy, method for reaching consensus, clinical questions and outcomes, and time frame for accomplishment.
- Clinical questions must be described in terms of Population, Intervention, Comparator and Outcome (PICO), according to the GRADE system. A preliminary list and rating of outcome must be considered.
- The search strategy should include the search string(s).
- TF should identify in the protocol which tasks will be undertaken by each member, including those who will search the literature, prepare the evidence tables, grade the evidence and prepare the first draft of the guideline.
A good protocol is a basis of a good guideline.
The GPG would like to highlight the work of the TF on management of dementia and share their well-written protocol with EAN members.
This might be a useful example for a TF embarking on the development of an EAN guideline.
The document has been placed on the EAN website, please see here.
EAN is very enthusiastic about its current guideline production which increases not only in quantity but also quality.
EAN Guideline Production Group