Background: health guidelines are now one of the key knowledge translation (KT) tools used to transform evidence into practice. Research to evaluate and optimize the guideline development process and meeting efficacy is therefore of high importance. Previous research led to the development of a checklist for guideline developers, the Guideline International Network (GIN) - McMaster guideline development tool (cebgrade.mcmaster.ca/guidecheck).
Objectives: the objective of this study was to create a checklist for those who participate in guideline development committees by systematically compiling a comprehensive list of roles, responsibilities, and guidance for participation in the guideline development process.
Methods: we developed the Guideline Participant Tool (GPT) using a mixed-method and iterative approach. First, we generated a protocol for developing the checklist in stages and iteratively refining it based on feedback at each stage. This began with a systematic review for the identification of recommendations for guideline participants from the guideline development literature. In the second stage, we conducted qualitative interviews with participant of previous guideline development committees to ascertain feedback on the checklist. Finally, we conducted an online survey and evaluated the tool prospectively to develop a final tool for use in guidelines and dissemination.
Results: the systematic review identified n = 35 guideline documents. We identified 15 themes from these documents and incorporated guidance for orientation of participants into a draft document that was used in the interviews. We conducted n = 10 in-depth, qualitative interviews, iteratively refining the tool. We also incorporated online survey response feedback into the development of the final tool and its evaluation.
Conclusions: guideline participants found the GPT to be useful and it should be considered as a part of the orientation process and materials for prospective guideline participants.
Consumer Involvement: we involved guideline developers, participants, and patient representatives in qualitative interviews and surveys to create a tool to improve orientation of guideline participants to guideline groups.