Incorporating patients' views in guideline development: a systematic review of guidance documents Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: To assess how guidance documents for developing clinical guidelines (CGs) address the incorporation of patients' views in CGs. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review to identify the methodology provided in guidance documents for incorporating (1) patients or representatives and (2) patients' views in the CG development process. The search was performed in 2017 in five databases. Two authors selected the studies, and data extraction was double-checked. RESULTS: We included guidance documents from 56 institutions. Of those, 40 (71.4%) recommended the inclusion of patients or their representatives, mainly for developing recommendations (14/40, 35.0%); reviewing the final version (13/40, 32.5%); formulating clinical questions (13/40, 32.5%); defining the scope and objectives (10/40, 25.0%); and dissemination and implementation (10/40, 25.0%). Concrete methods on how to incorporate patients were provided by 47.5% (19/40) of institutions. Forty (71.4%) institutions provided additional strategies to incorporate patients' views. The majority (30/40, 75.0%) suggested sources for obtaining these views (consultation with patients [24/40, 60.0%], using panels' judgment [10/40, 25.0%], conducting de novo research [10/40, 25.0%], or a systematic review [9/40, 22.5%]). CONCLUSION: Although most institutions suggest incorporating patients and their views when developing CGs, little detail is provided on how to do this. Institutions should provide more guidance as this could have a positive impact in guideline applicability.


  • Selva, Anna
  • Sanabria, Andrea Juliana
  • Pequeño, Sandra
  • Zhang, Yuan
  • Solà, Ivan
  • Pardo-Hernandez, Héctor
  • Selva, Clara
  • Schunemann, Holger
  • Alonso-Coello, Pablo

publication date

  • August 2017