|Developing HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines (UNAIDS, 1999, 43 p.)|
This document introduces the methods used to appraise and develop clinical guidelines, making specific reference to HIV/AIDS. It is recommended for use by policy makers, guideline development committees and other people responsible for ensuring the validity of guidelines. It is intended to support the development of guidelines that lead to improved health. Guidelines come in different forms; some take the deterministic form of statements, algorithms, flowcharts and diagrams, giving specific instructions to be followed all the time; others are in "branching" form, recommending a course of action depending on the information available to the clinician.
Part 1 describes how to appraise HIV/AIDS clinical guidelines that are currently in use and which may need updating. The aims are to identify their essential elements and make the necessary adjustments to improve their validity. The guideline appraisal tools in the appendix are intended to support this process.
Part 2 introduces how to develop new HIV/AIDS guidelines and gives the specific steps to take. It describes different methods applicable in both developed and developing countries. The degree to which these steps apply will differ in each country depending on what funding and expertise are available.
An annotated bibliography gives details of the sources referred to in the text and further reading on guideline development.
Terms used in this booklet are defined as follows:
Appraisal: assessment of the usefulness of specified characteristics of the guideline.
Evidence: the scientific basis upon which the appraisal, validation, or recommendations of the guidelines is made.
Guideline: a document that contains specific recommendations for clinical management of a specified condition. Commonly this will be used to refer to HIV/AIDS clinical treatment guidelines.
Guideline development: the process of making a guideline, from an idea to the finished product. This also includes the dissemination and implementation strategies adopted.
Methodology: the specific steps taken in making the guideline.
Recommendation: advice, given as statements, narrative, algorithms, flowcharts or diagrams, that describes the steps taken in applying the correct and appropriate diagnosis or treatment for a specific clinical condition.
Validation: the authentication or endorsement of the recommendations given in a guideline, based on scientific evidence.