Background Scientific knowledge is in constant evolution and even if Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) get out of date in five years time, there is a lack of standardised method for an efficient updating process.
Context A proposal used to update efficiently the bibliographic searches during the development of a CPG on childhood asthma management is described.
Description of Best Practice Bibliographic searches were performed in Medline, Embase and All EBM databases using Ovid, and in BMJ update database. Search strategies and RSS-feeds were created and saved when possible. E-mail alerts for those searches carried out in databases with no RSS services were also created. All the RSS-feeds were centralised in a Netvibes web portal and organised into tabs (one tab by clinical question). New alerts were revised periodically during the guideline development process and new references incorporated in the guideline when relevant. RSS-feeds could be created for Medline and Embase searches. The centralization of RSS-feeds in a Netvibes portal facilitated the reviewing process of the latest published articles by clinical question. The review of the email-alert services generated for those sources with no RSS services was more time-consuming.
Lessons-for-Guideline-Developers-Adaptors-Implementers-and/or-Users The management of RSS-feeds is considered as a more effective tool to check and follow all the new references published during the guideline development process, being useful also after the CPG publication. Nevertheless, not all databases allowed the creation of RSS feeds, an issue that should be considered by their managers, and in all cases, the updating process has to be supported by professionals.
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