Background Belgian Red Cross-Flanders (BRCFl) is active in many fields including first aid training, for which BRCFl develops evidence-based guidelines according to AGREE II.
Objectives Development of evidence-based recommendations for recreational athletes who perform one of 15 sport disciplines, defined by popularity, medical costs and injury risk in Flanders (Belgium). Initiatives concerning wording and accessibility were taken to develop implementable guidelines adapted for laypeople. These guidelines will also be used by the Flemish Government to update its information sources.
Methods 10 databases for guidelines, systematic reviews or individual studies were searched and draft recommendations were formulated based on the best current evidence. The quality of evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach. A guideline development group, including a multidisciplinary expert panel (co-authors PV, JB, RM and KP), discussed the draft recommendations while taking into account the evidence, and validated the final recommendations.
Results 32 systematic reviews and 2 guidelines that met the methodological criteria were identified as valuable source of studies. Additionally, 73 individual studies were included. The overall quality of the body of evidence varied from moderate to very low. Recommendations, written in active and explicit wording, were organised in a structure in order to be searchable via sports discipline, anatomical localisation, type of intervention, and injury.
Discussion Preferences of the target group were taken into account when selecting the sport disciplines and when formulation the evidence-based recommendations.
Implications for Guideline Developers/Users Involving the target population is an added value for developing an implementable evidence-based guideline.
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