Guideline panel social dynamics influence the development of clinical practice recommendations: a mixed-methods systematic review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: To synthesize empirical studies that investigate the cognitive and social processes involved in the deliberation process of guideline development meetings and determine the distribution of deliberated topics. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We conducted a mixed-method systematic review using a convergent segregated approach. We searched for empirical studies that investigate the intragroup dynamics of guideline development meetings indexed in bibliographic databases. RESULTS: Of the 5,899 citations screened, 12 studies from six countries proved eligible. Chairs, cochairs, and methodologists contributed to at least one-third of the discussion time in guideline development meetings; patient partners contributed the least. In interdisciplinary groups, male gender and occupation as a physician were positively associated with the amount of contribution. Compared to groups that used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach, for groups that did not, when faced with insufficient or low-quality evidence, relied more on their clinical experience. The presence of a cognitive "yes" bias was apparent in meetings: panelists tended to acquiesce with positive statements that required less cognitive effort than negative statements. CONCLUSION: The social dynamics of the discussions were linked to each panelist's activity role, professional background, and gender, all of which influenced the level of contributions they made in guideline development meetings.


  • Li, Shelly-Anne
  • Guyatt, Gordon
  • Yao, Liang
  • Donn, Gemma
  • Wang, Qi
  • Zhu, Ying
  • Yan, Lijiao
  • Djulbegovic, Benjamin

publication date

  • February 2024