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close this bookDeveloping HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines (UNAIDS, 1999, 43 p.)
close this folderPart 2: Developing valid HIV/AIDS guidelines
close this folderSteps in developing HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines
View the document1. Target groups and type of guideline
View the document2. Stakeholder mapping exercise
View the document3. Setting up a guideline development committee
View the document4. Role of the committee members
View the document5. Guideline scope
View the document6. Identifying and applying scientific evidence
View the document7. Methods of establishing consensus
View the document8. Deriving recommendations
View the document9. Drafting guidelines
View the document10. Involving external reviewers
View the document11. Disseminating and implementing guidelines
View the document12. Workplan for guideline development
View the document13. Budgeting for guideline development
View the document14. Public policy implications of HIV/AIDS treatment guidelines

9. Drafting guidelines

The purpose of the HIV/AIDS guidelines is to give clear recommendations to physicians about the treatment and management of patients with HIV/AIDS. As such, it is important to consider the way the actual document will be structured and written. The clinical guideline should include the following:

· an executive summary;
· a summary of the development process;
· a summary of literature review with grading of the evidence;
· specific recommendations graded according to the evidence (this forms the major part of the guideline document i.e. what to do and how to administer treatments) and may appear in the form of statements, algorithms or diagrams.

The desirable attributes to be emphasized in a guideline are: its validity, reliability (reproducibility of recommendations), clinical applicability and flexibility. The patient population and the clinical problems likely to be encountered should be described in clear and explicit terms. Options for the clinician if the recommended course of action is not available should also be included. The recommendations given should be reproducible in any context without producing a significant difference in outcome. A description of the development process should be given including some mention of its multidisciplinary nature for the benefit of the user. Those using it can thus accurately assess the information. Indication of a review date for the guideline document will promote assessment of information that is changing rapidly or is uncertain.