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Update processes for guidelines – Systematic review

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The aim of this systematic review was to describe the most recent guideline update processes, including up-to-date prioritisation methods, used by international or national groups who provide methods guidance for developing and updating clinical guidelines. The systematic review focused on updating processes for existing guidelines. This will support the NCEC in considering amendments to the current update processes outlined in their current methodological guidance.

The role of the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) is to prioritise and quality assure National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audits in Ireland. As such, the NCEC provide methodological guidance for guideline developers. 

Ongoing evolution of the scientific literature brings new clinical evidence, which can change the recommendations made within a clinical guideline. As such, clinical guidelines need to be updated regularly to ensure the validity of their recommendations. The evolution of the scientific literature also brings advancement in the methodologies used to develop and update clinical guidelines. As such, methodological guidance relating to clinical guideline development should also be updated regularly to ensure it reflects the most up-to-date guideline development methods.

To support the NCEC, the HRB-CICER team independently review evidence and provide scientific support for the development of the National Clinical Guidelines, by Guideline Development Groups, and National Clinical Audits, by Audit Governance Committees. 

This systematic review adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria.ǂ


ǂ Available at PRISMA (