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Community-acquired Pneumonia Guideline Recommendations-Impact of a Consensus-based Process versus Systematic Reviews.

Wilson KC, Schoenberg NC, Cohn DL, Crothers K, Fennelly KP, Metlay JP, Saukkonen JJ, Strange C, Waterer G, Dweik R. Community-acquired Pneumonia Guideline Recommendations-Impact of a Consensus-based Process versus Systematic Reviews. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 2021 Oct 5; 73(7):e1467-e1475.

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BACKGROUND: The American Thoracic Society (ATS)/Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Community-acquired Pneumonia (CAP) guidelines were developed using systematic reviews to inform every recommendation, as suggested by the Institute of Medicine Standards for Trustworthy Guidelines. Recent studies suggest that an expert consensus-based approach, called the Convergence of Opinion on Recommendations and Evidence (CORE) process, can produce recommendations that are concordant with recommendations informed by systematic reviews. PURPOSE: The goal of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of the CORE process had it been used to develop the ATS/IDSA CAP guidelines. METHODS: Experts in CAP who were not on the guideline panel and had no knowledge of the guideline's systematic reviews or recommendations were recruited to participate in the CORE process, addressing the same questions asked by the guideline panel. Recommendations derived from the CORE process were compared to the guideline recommendations. Concordance of the course of action, strength of recommendation, and quality of evidence were determined. RESULTS: Using a threshold of 70% of experts selecting the same course of action to make a recommendation, the CORE process yielded a recommendation for 20 of 31 (65%) questions. Among the 20 CORE-derived recommendations, 19 (95%) were concordant with the guideline recommendations (kappa agreement 0.88, 95% CI .64-1.00). There was less agreement among the strength of recommendations (58%) and quality of evidence (42%). CONCLUSIONS: If the CORE process had been used, 11 systematic reviews would have been necessary rather than 31, with minimal impact on the recommended courses of action.

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