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Allergy. 2011 May;66(5):588-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02530.x. Epub 2011 Jan 17.

Grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations in clinical practice guidelines part 3 of 3. The GRADE approach to developing recommendations.

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1
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Abstract

This is the third and last article in the series about the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to grading the quality of evidence and the strength of recommendations in clinical practice guidelines and its application in the field of allergy. We describe the factors that influence the strength of recommendations about the use of diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic interventions: the balance of desirable and undesirable consequences, the quality of a body of evidence related to a decision, patients' values and preferences, and considerations of resource use. We provide examples from two recently developed guidelines in the field of allergy that applied the GRADE approach. The main advantages of this approach are the focus on patient important outcomes, explicit consideration of patients' values and preferences, the systematic approach to collecting the evidence, the clear separation of the concepts of quality of evidence and strength of recommendations, and transparent reporting of the decision process. The focus on transparency facilitates understanding and implementation and should empower patients, clinicians and other health care professionals to make informed choices.

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