Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)


March 01, 2012

In This Article


Click on the links below for details of guideline development methodology:

To collect and select the evidence, all three guideline developers performed searches of electronic databases; ACCF/AHA and USPSTF also performed hand-searches of published literature. A systematic review of the literature was prepared by the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) for use by the USPSTF in the development of its guideline. Methods used to assess the quality and strength of the evidence are similar between ACCF/AHA and NACB, with both guideline groups weighting it according to a rating scheme. USPSTF employed expert consensus.

To analyze the selected evidence, all three guideline developers reviewed published meta-analyses and performed a systematic review with evidence tables. USPSTF is the only group to have also performed its own meta-analysis.

All three groups formulated the recommendations according to expert consensus (USPSTF also used balance sheets), and all of the organizations rate the strength of the recommendations according to a scheme. To validate the guidelines, all of the guideline groups sought both internal and external peer review; USPSTF also compared its guideline with those of other groups. All of the developers provide details of the evidence selection/analysis, recommendation formulation, and guideline validation processes used.


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