Systematic reviews have become a sine non qua in guideline development. The reasons for this are obvious: recommendations must be based on the best available evidence and systematic reviews allow for transparent methods and processes for evaluating the evidence.
However, best practice of collaborating and implementing the laudable goal of basing recommendations in guidelines on systematic reviews has not been defined. For example, better coordination between guideline developers and systematic review authors is required to efficiently use resources (e.g. avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts, delays and non-credible evidence reviews). The Cochrane Collaboration and the Guideline International Network are looking for ways to collaborate. Attractive models include the development of a database of health care questions for which systematic reviews exist, are planned or missing. A database will allow guideline developers and systematic reviewers to work in synergy and ensure that evidence is synthesised when needed and used when recommendations are formulated. An interactive database of questions, linked to summaries of evidence and systematic reviews would support guideline developers and systematic reviewers to work together. This collaboration is not simple; it requires involvement of both review authors and guideline developers early on in the process of systematic reviews. In this presentation we will review challenges and proposed solutions based on existing models, examples and ideas to advance the field. It will report on work from the GIN Partnership Taskforce, the Cochrane Applicability and Recommendations Methods Group, other Cochrane entities and the GRADE working group to support these solutions.
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