In 2004, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) published the "Protocol for Standardized Production of Clinical Practice Guidelines," which was to be implemented in forthcoming clinical practice guidelines (CPG). This protocol formally incorporated subjective factors and evidence-based medicine (EBM) methods that tightly mapped evidence levels to recommendation grades. A uniform publication template and multi-level review process were also outlined. Seven CPG have been subsequently published with use of this 2004 AACE protocol. Recently, growing concerns about the usefulness of CPG have been raised. The purposes of this report are to address shortcomings of the 2004 AACE protocol and to present an updated 2010 AACE protocol for CPG development. AACE CPG are developed without any industry involvement. Multiplicities of interests among writers and reviewers that might compromise the usefulness of CPG are avoided. Three major goals are to (1) balance transparently the effect of rigid quantitative EBM methods with subjective factors, (2) create a less onerous, less time-consuming, and less costly CPG production process, and (3) introduce an electronic implementation component. The updated 2010 AACE protocol emphasizes "informed judgment" and hybridizes EBM descriptors (study design type), qualifiers (study flaws), and subjective factors (such as risk, cost, and relevance). In addition, by focusing on more specific topics and clinical questions, the expert evaluation and multilevel review process is more transparent and expeditious. Lastly, the final recommendations are linked to a new electronic implementation feature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism