A survey on the methodological processes and policies of renal guideline groups as a first step to harmonize renal guidelines

Maria Haller, Sabine Van Der Veer, Evi Nagler, Charles Tomson, Andrew Lewington, Brenda Hemmelgarn, Martin Gallagher, Michael Rocco, Gregorio Obrador, Raymond Vanholder, Jonathan Craig, Wim van Biesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background Worldwide, several bodies produce renal guidelines, potentially leading to duplication of effort while other topics may remain uncovered. A collaborative work plan could improve efficiency and impact, but requires a common approved methodology. The aim of this study was to identify organizational and methodological similarities and differences among seven major renal guideline bodies to identify methodological barriers to a collaborative effort. Methods An electronic 62-item survey with questions based on the Institute of Medicine standards for guidelines was completed by representatives of seven major organizations producing renal guidelines: the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN), European Renal Best Practice (ERBP), Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcome (KDIGO), Kidney Health Australia-Caring for Australians with Renal Insufficiency (KHA-CARI), Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (KDOQI), Sociedad Latino-Americano de Nefrologia e Hipertension (SLANH) and United Kingdom Renal Association (UK-RA). Results Five of the seven groups conduct systematic searches for evidence, two include detailed critical appraisal and all use the GRADE framework. Five have public review of the guideline draft. Guidelines are updated as new evidence comes up in all, and/or after a specified time frame has passed (N = 3). Commentaries or position statements on guidelines published by other groups are produced by five, with the ADAPTE framework (N = 1) and the AGREEII (N = 2) used by some. Funding is from their parent organizations (N = 5) or directly from industry (N = 2). None allow funders to influence topic selection or guideline content. The budgets to develop a full guideline vary from $2000 to $500 000. Guideline development groups vary in size from <5 (N = 1) to 13-20 persons (N = 3). Three explicitly seek patient perspectives, for example, by involving patients in the scoping process, and four incorporate health economic considerations. All provide training in methodology for guideline development groups and six make their methods public. All try to avoid overlapping topics already planned or published by others. There is no common conflict of interest policy. Conclusions Overall, there is considerable commonality in methods and approaches in renal guideline development by the different organizations, although some procedural differences remain. As the financial and human resource costs of guideline production are high, a collaborative approach is required to maximize impact and develop a sustainable work plan. Coming to consensus on methods and procedures is the first step and appears feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1074
Number of pages9
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • evidence-based medicine
  • practice guidelines as topic


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