Publications by authors named "Elie A Akl"

429 Publications

New methods facilitated the process of prioritizing questions and health outcomes in guideline development.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 Nov 26. Epub 2021 Nov 26.

Michael G. DeGroote Cochrane Canada & McMaster GRADE Centres; Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Canada; Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada; Institut für Evidence in Medicine, Medical Center & Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Health guideline development requires sequential prioritization of the guideline topic, questions, and health outcomes. In this paper we report on new approaches for prioritizing questions and outcomes in guidelines.

Methods: Ten guideline panels on venous thromboembolism rated potential guideline questions on a 9-point scale according to their overall importance and 6 criteria: common in practice, uncertainty in practice, variation in practice, new evidence available, cost consequences, not previously addressed. We randomized panelists to rate one potential question with and without the 6 criteria. Panelists rated importance of outcomes, defined with health outcome descriptors (HODs), using a 9-point scale, and health utility of outcomes on a visual analogue scale.

Results: Of 469 potential questions identified, 72.5% were rated as important but not of high priority, and 25.4% as high priority. Each criterion was significantly associated with the overall importance rating. The overall importance rating means were 5.96 (SD 2.38) and 6.53 (SD 2.45) (p = 0.25) for those randomized to rate questions with and without the criteria, respectively. The mean importance rating for 121 outcomes was 6.01 (SD 1.25), with 35.5% rated as critical for decision-making. Panelists provided health utility ratings for 127 outcomes, with a minimum mean rating of 0.12 (SD 0.10) and maximum of 0.91 (SD 0.15).

Conclusions: Our structured process provided information to help explain perspectives of question importance, to facilitate panels' outcome prioritization, and to facilitate decision-making in guideline development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.11.031DOI Listing
November 2021

GRADE Guidance 24. Optimizing the integration of randomized and non-randomized studies of interventions in evidence syntheses and health guidelines.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 Nov 17. Epub 2021 Nov 17.

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.; Department of Medicine, McMaster University. Hamilton Ontario, Canada.

This is the 24th in the ongoing series of articles describing the GRADE approach for assessing the certainty of a body of evidence in systematic reviews and health technology assessments and how to move from evidence to recommendations in guidelines. Guideline developers and authors of systematic reviews and other evidence syntheses use randomized controlled studies (RCTs) and non-randomized studies of interventions (NRSI) as sources of evidence for questions about health interventions. RCTs with low risk of bias are the most trustworthy source of evidence for estimating relative effects of interventions because of protection against confounding and other biases. However, in several instances, NRSI can still provide valuable information as complementary, sequential, or replacement evidence for RCTs. In this article we offer guidance on the decision regarding when to search for and include either or both types of studies in systematic reviews to inform health recommendations. This work aims to help methodologists in review teams, technology assessors, guideline panelists, and anyone conducting evidence syntheses using GRADE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.11.026DOI Listing
November 2021

AUTHOR REPLY.

Urology 2021 Oct;156:e38-e39

Division of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Department of Surgery, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon, Department of Urology, Carle Foundation Hospital & Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.04.064DOI Listing
October 2021

American Society of Hematology living guidelines on the use of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in patients with COVID-19: July 2021 update on post-discharge thromboprophylaxis.

Blood Adv 2021 Nov 2. Epub 2021 Nov 2.

American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: COVID-19 related acute illness is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Objective: These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians and other health care professionals in decisions about the use of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in patients with COVID-19 who do not have confirmed or suspected VTE.

Methods: ASH formed a multidisciplinary guideline panel, including three patient representatives, and applied strategies to minimize potential bias from conflicts of interest. The McMaster University GRADE Centre supported the guideline development process, including performing systematic evidence reviews (up to March 2021). The panel prioritized clinical questions and outcomes according to their importance for clinicians and patients. The panel used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations, which were subject to public comment.

Results: The panel agreed on one additional recommendation. The panel issued a conditional recommendation against the use of outpatient anticoagulant prophylaxis in patients with COVID-19 being discharged from the hospital who do not have suspected or confirmed VTE or another indication for anticoagulation.

Conclusions: This recommendation was based on very low certainty in the evidence, underscoring the need for high-quality, randomized controlled trials assessing the role of post-discharge thromboprophylaxis. Other key research priorities include better evidence on assessing risk of thrombosis and bleeding outcomes in patients with COVID-19 after hospital discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8566097PMC
November 2021

Challenges of evidence synthesis during the 2020 COVID pandemic: a scoping review.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 Oct 27;142:10-18. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact (HEI), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Aim: The objectives of this scoping review are to identify the challenges to conducting evidence synthesis during the COVID-19 pandemic and to propose some recommendations addressing the identified gaps.

Methods: A scoping review methodology was followed to map the literature published on the challenges and solutions of conducting evidence synthesis using the Joanna Briggs Methodology of performing scoping review. We searched several databases from the start of the Pandemic in December 2019 until 10th June 2021.

Results: A total of 28 publications was included in the review. The challenges cited in the included studies have been categorised into four distinct but interconnected themes including: upstream, Evidence synthesis, downstream and contextual challenges. These challenges have been further refined into issues with primary studies, databases, team capacity, process, resources, and context. Several proposals to improve the above challenges included: transparency in primary studies registration and reporting, establishment of online platforms that enables collaboration, data sharing and searching, the use of computable evidence and coordination of efforts at an international level.

Conclusion: This review has highlighted the importance of including artificial intelligence, a framework for international collaboration and a sustained funding model to address many of the shortcomings and ensure we are ready for similar challenges in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.10.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8550900PMC
October 2021

COVID-19 transmission during swimming-related activities: a rapid systematic review.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Oct 29;21(1):1112. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut, 11-0236 / CRI (E15), Beirut, 1107 2020, Lebanon.

Background: There are uncertainties about mitigating strategies for swimming-related activities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity to learn from the experience of previous re-openings to better plan the future one. Our objectives are to systematically review the evidence on (1) the association between engaging in swimming-related activities and COVID-19 transmission; and (2) the effects of strategies for preventing COVID-19 transmission during swimming-related activities.

Methods: We conducted a rapid systematic review. We searched in the L·OVE (Living OVerview of Evidence) platform for COVID-19. The searches covered the period from the inception date of each database until April 19, 2021. We included non-randomized studies for the review on association of COVID-19 transmission and swimming-related activities. We included guidance documents reporting on the strategies for prevention of COVID-19 transmission during swimming-related activities. We also included studies on the efficacy and safety of the strategies. Teams of two reviewers independently assessed article eligibility. For the guidance documents, a single reviewer assessed the eligibility and a second reviewer verified the judgement. Teams of two reviewers extracted data independently. We summarized the findings of included studies narratively. We synthesized information from guidance documents according to the identified topics and subtopics, and presented them in tabular and narrative formats.

Results: We identified three studies providing very low certainty evidence for the association between engaging in swimming-related activities and COVID-19 transmission. The analysis of 50 eligible guidance documents identified 11 topics: ensuring social distancing, ensuring personal hygiene, using personal protective equipment, eating and drinking, maintaining the pool, managing frequently touched surfaces, ventilation of indoor spaces, screening and management of sickness, delivering first aid, raising awareness, and vaccination. One study assessing the efficacy of strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission did not find an association between compliance with precautionary restrictions and COVID-19 transmission.

Conclusions: There are major gaps in the research evidence of relevance to swimming-related activities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the synthesis of the identified strategies from guidance documents can inform public health management strategies for swimming-related activities, particularly in future re-opening plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06802-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8553516PMC
October 2021

Vitamin D Supplementation and Fractures in Adults: A Systematic Umbrella Review of Meta-Analyses of Controlled Trials.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Oct 23. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program, WHO CC Center for Metabolic Bone Disorders, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

Context: The growing number of systematic reviews/meta-analyses (SR/MAs) on vitamin D (±calcium) for fracture prevention has led to contradictory guidelines. This umbrella review aims to assess the quality and explore the reasons for discrepancy of SR/MAs of trials on vitamin D supplementation for fracture risk reduction in adults.

Evidence Acquisition: We searched 4 databases (2010-2020), Epistemonikos, and references of included SR/MAs, and we contacted experts in the field. We used AMSTAR-2 for quality assessment. We compared results and investigated reasons for discordance using matrices and sub-group analyses (PROSPERO registration: CRD42019129540).

Evidence Synthesis: We included 13 SR/MAs on vitamin D and calcium (Ca/D) and 19 SR/MAs on vitamin D alone, compared to placebo/control. Only 2 from 10 SR/MAs on Ca/D were of moderate quality. Ca/D reduced the risk of hip fractures in 8/12 SR/MAs (relative risk (RR) 0.61-0.84), and any fractures in 7/11 SR/MAs (RR 0.74-0.95). No risk reduction was noted in SR/MAs exclusively evaluating community-dwelling individuals or in those on vitamin D alone compared to placebo/control. Discordance in results between SR/MAs stems from inclusion of different trials, related to search periods and eligibility criteria, and varying methodology (using intention to treat, per-protocol, or complete case analysis from individual trials). Vitamin D alone has no protective effect on fracture risk.

Conclusions: Ca/D reduces the risk of hip and any fractures, possibly driven by findings from institutionalized subjects. Individual participant data meta-analyses of patients on Ca/D with sufficient follow-up period, and subgroup analyses, would unravel determinants for a beneficial response to supplementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab742DOI Listing
October 2021

Oral anticoagulation in people with cancer who have no therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 10 8;10:CD006466. Epub 2021 Oct 8.

Department of Internal Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Oral anticoagulants may improve the survival of people with cancer through an antithrombotic effect, yet increase the risk of bleeding.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral anticoagulants in ambulatory people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy (either alone or in combination), with no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Search Methods: We conducted comprehensive searches on 14 June 2021, following the original electronic searches performed in February 2016 (last major search). We electronically searched the following databases: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase. In addition, we handsearched conference proceedings, checked references of included studies, and searched for ongoing studies. As part of the living systematic review approach, we are running continual searches and will incorporate new evidence rapidly after it is identified.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) or direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in ambulatory people with cancer (i.e., not hospital inpatients during the time of their participation in trials) These people are typically undergoing systemic anticancer therapy, possibly including chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy, but otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardised form, two review authors independently extracted data on study design, participants, intervention outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, pulmonary embolism, symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), major bleeding, minor bleeding and health-related quality of life. We assessed the certainty of evidence for each outcome using the GRADE approach.

Main Results: Of 12,620 identified citations, 10 RCTs fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The oral anticoagulant was a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) in six of these RCTs, and a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) in the remaining four RCTs (three studies used apixaban; one used rivaroxaban). The comparator was either placebo or no prophylaxis. Compared to no prophylaxis, vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) probably reduce mortality at six months slightly (risk ratio (RR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77 to 1.13; risk difference (RD) 22 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 72 fewer to 41 more; moderate-certainty evidence), and probably reduce mortality at 12 months slightly (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.03; RD 29 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 75 fewer to 17 more; moderate-certainty evidence). One study assessed the effect of a VKA compared to no prophylaxis on thrombosis; the evidence was very uncertain about the effect of VKA compared to no VKA on pulmonary embolism and symptomatic DVT (RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.07 to 16.58; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 6 fewer to 98 more; very low-certainty evidence; RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.42; RD 35 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 37 fewer to 16 more; very low-certainty evidence, respectively). Also, VKAs probably increase major and minor bleeding at 12 months (RR 2.93, 95% CI 1.86 to 4.62; RD 107 more per 1000, 95% CI 48 more to 201 more; moderate-certainty evidence for major bleeding, and RR 3.14, 95% CI 1.85 to 5.32; RD 167 more per 1000, 95% CI 66 more to 337 more; moderate-certainty evidence for minor bleeding). Compared to no prophylaxis, at three to six months, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) probably reduce mortality slightly (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.38, RD 11 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 67 fewer to 70 more; moderate-certainty evidence), probably reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism slightly compared to no prophylaxis (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.98; RD 24 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 35 fewer to 1 fewer; moderate-certainty evidence), probably reduce symptomatic DVT slightly (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.30 to 1.15; RD 21 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 35 fewer to 8 more; moderate-certainty evidence), probably do not increase major bleeding (RR 1.65, 95% CI 0.72 to 3.80; RD 9 more per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 40 more; moderate-certainty evidence), and may increase minor bleeding (RR 3.58, 95% CI 0.55 to 23.44; RD 55 more per 1000, 95% CI 10 fewer to 482 more; low-certainty evidence).

Authors' Conclusions: In ambulatory people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy (either alone or in combination), the current evidence on VKA thromboprophylaxis suggests that the harm of major bleeding might outweigh the benefit of reduction in venous thromboembolism. With DOACs, the benefit of reduction in venous thromboembolic events outweighs the risk of major bleeding. Editorial note: this is a living systematic review. Living systematic reviews offer a new approach to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence, as it becomes available. Please refer to the 'What's new' section in the  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD006466.pub7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8498286PMC
October 2021

Antithrombotic therapy for ambulatory patients with multiple myeloma receiving immunomodulatory agents.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 09 28;9:CD014739. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Multiple myeloma is a malignant plasma cell disorder characterised by clonal plasma cells that cause end-organ damage such as renal failure, lytic bone lesions, hypercalcaemia and/or anaemia. People with multiple myeloma are treated with immunomodulatory agents including lenalidomide, pomalidomide, and thalidomide. Multiple myeloma is associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, which appears to be further increased in people receiving immunomodulatory agents.

Objectives: (1) To systematically review the evidence for the relative efficacy and safety of aspirin, oral anticoagulants, or parenteral anticoagulants in ambulatory patients with multiple myeloma receiving immunomodulatory agents who otherwise have no standard therapeutic or prophylactic indication for anticoagulation. (2) To maintain this review as a living systematic review by continually running the searches and incorporating newly identified studies.

Search Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search that included (1) a major electronic search (14 June 2021) of the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE via Ovid, and Embase via Ovid; (2) hand-searching of conference proceedings; (3) checking of reference lists of included studies; and (4) a search for ongoing studies in trial registries. As part of the living systematic review approach, we are running continual searches, and we will incorporate new evidence rapidly after it is identified.

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the benefits and harms of oral anticoagulants such as vitamin K antagonist (VKA) and direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC), anti-platelet agents such as aspirin (ASA), and parenteral anticoagulants such as low molecular weight heparin (LMWH)in ambulatory patients with multiple myeloma receiving immunomodulatory agents.

Data Collection And Analysis: Using a standardised form, we extracted data in duplicate on study design, participants, interventions, outcomes of interest, and risk of bias. Outcomes of interest included all-cause mortality, symptomatic deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), major bleeding, and minor bleeding. For each outcome we calculated the risk ratio (RR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) and the risk difference (RD) with its 95% CI. We then assessed the certainty of evidence at the outcome level following the GRADE approach (GRADE Handbook).

Main Results: We identified 1015 identified citations and included 11 articles reporting four RCTs that enrolled 1042 participants. The included studies made the following comparisons: ASA versus VKA (one study); ASA versus LMWH (two studies); VKA versus LMWH (one study); and ASA versus DOAC (two studies, one of which was an abstract). ASA versus VKA One RCT compared ASA to VKA at six months follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to VKA on all-cause mortality (RR 3.00, 95% CI 0.12 to 73.24; RD 2 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 72 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.33; RD 27 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 48 fewer to 21 more; very low-certainty evidence); PE (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.25 to 3.95; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 14 fewer to 54 more; very low-certainty evidence); major bleeding (RR 7.00, 95% CI 0.36 to 134.72; RD 6 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 134 more; very low-certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 6.00, 95% CI 0.73 to 49.43; RD 23 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 220 more; very low-certainty evidence). One RCT compared ASA to VKA at two years follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to VKA on all-cause mortality (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.05 to 5.47; RD 5 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 9 fewer to 41 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.44; RD 22 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 50 fewer to 34 more; very low-certainty evidence); and PE (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.25 to 3.95; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 14 fewer to 54 more; very low-certainty evidence). ASA versus LMWH Two RCTs compared ASA to LMWH at six months follow-up. The pooled data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.81; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 2 fewer to 38 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 1.23, 95% CI 0.49 to 3.08; RD 5 more per 1000, 95% CI 11 fewer to 43 more; very low-certainty evidence); PE (RR 7.71, 95% CI 0.97 to 61.44; RD 7 more per 1000, 95% CI 0 fewer to 60 more; very low-certainty evidence); major bleeding (RR 6.97, 95% CI 0.36 to 134.11; RD 6 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 133 more; very low-certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 1.42, 95% CI 0.35 to 5.78; RD 4 more per 1000, 95% CI 7 fewer to 50 more; very low-certainty evidence). One RCT compared ASA to LMWH at two years follow-up. The pooled data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.89; RD 0 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 68 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.53 to 2.72; RD 9 more per 1000, 95% CI 21 fewer to 78 more; very low-certainty evidence); and PE (RR 9.00, 95% CI 0.49 to 166.17; RD 8 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 165 more; very low-certainty evidence). VKA versus LMWH One RCT compared VKA to LMWH at six months follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of VKA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.01 to 8.10; RD 3 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 5 fewer to 32 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 2.32, 95% CI 0.91 to 5.93; RD 36 more per 1000, 95% CI 2 fewer to 135 more; very low-certainty evidence); PE (RR 8.96, 95% CI 0.49 to 165.42; RD 8 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 164 more; very low-certainty evidence); and minor bleeding (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.03 to 3.17; RD 9 fewer per 1000, 95% CI 13 fewer to 30 more; very low-certainty evidence). The study reported that no major bleeding occurred in either arm. One RCT compared VKA to LMWH at two years follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of VKA relative to LMWH on all-cause mortality (RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.18 to 21.90; RD 5 more per 1000, 95% CI 4 fewer to 95 more; very low-certainty evidence); symptomatic DVT (RR 1.70, 95% CI 0.80 to 3.63; RD 32 more per 1000, 95% CI 9 fewer to 120 more; very low-certainty evidence); and PE (RR 9.00, 95% CI 0.49 to 166.17; RD 8 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 165 more; very low-certainty evidence). ASA versus DOAC One RCT compared ASA to DOAC at six months follow-up. The data did not confirm or exclude a beneficial or detrimental effect of ASA relative to DOAC on DVT, PE, and major bleeding and minor bleeding (minor bleeding: RR 5.00, 95% CI 0.31 to 79.94; RD 4 more per 1000, 95% CI 1 fewer to 79 more; very low-certainty evidence). The study reported that no DVT, PE, or major bleeding events occurred in either arm. These results did not change in a meta-analysis including the study published as an abstract.

Authors' Conclusions: The certainty of the available evidence for the comparative effects of ASA, VKA, LMWH, and DOAC on all-cause mortality, DVT, PE, or bleeding was either low or very low. People with multiple myeloma considering antithrombotic agents should balance the possible benefits of reduced thromboembolic complications with the possible harms and burden of anticoagulants. Editorial note: This is a living systematic review. Living systematic reviews offer a new approach to review updating in which the review is continually updated, incorporating relevant new evidence as it becomes available. Please refer to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD014739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8477647PMC
September 2021

A taxonomy and framework for identifying and developing actionable statements in guidelines suggests avoiding informal recommendations.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 Sep 23. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada.

Objective: To propose a taxonomy and framework that identifies and presents actionable statements in guidelines.

Study Design And Setting: We took an iterative approach reviewing case studies of guidelines produced by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Hematology to develop an initial conceptual framework. We then tested it using randomly selected recommendations from published guidelines addressing COVID-19 from different organizations, evaluated its results, and refined it before retesting. The urgency and availability of evidence for development of these recommendations varied. We consulted with experts in research methodology and guideline developers to improve the final framework.

Results: The resulting taxonomy and framework distinguishes five types of actional statements: formal recommendations; research recommendations; good practice statements; implementation considerations, tools and tips; and informal recommendations. These statements should respond to a priori established criteria and require a clear structure and recognizable presentation in a guideline. Most importantly, this framework identifies informal recommendations that differ from formal recommendations by how they consider evidence and in their development process.

Conclusion: The identification, standardization and explicit labelling of actionable statements according to the framework may support guideline developers to create actionable statements with clear intent, avoid informal recommendations and improve their understanding and implementation by users.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.09.028DOI Listing
September 2021

American Society of Hematology living guidelines on the use of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in patients with COVID-19: May 2021 update on the use of intermediate-intensity anticoagulation in critically ill patients.

Blood Adv 2021 10;5(20):3951-3959

Michael G. DeGroote Cochrane Canada, McGRADE Centre, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Background: COVID-19-related critical illness is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Objective: These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians, and other health care professionals in making decisions about the use of anticoagulation for thromboprophylaxis in patients with COVID-19-related critical illness who do not have confirmed or suspected VTE.

Methods: ASH formed a multidisciplinary guideline panel that included 3 patient representatives and applied strategies to minimize potential bias from conflicts of interest. The McMaster University Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Centre supported the guideline development process by performing systematic evidence reviews (up to 5 March 2021). The panel prioritized clinical questions and outcomes according to their importance for clinicians and patients. The panel used the GRADE approach to assess evidence and make recommendations, which were subject to public comment. This is an update on guidelines published in February 2021.

Results: The panel agreed on 1 additional recommendation. The panel issued a conditional recommendation in favor of prophylactic-intensity over intermediate-intensity anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19-related critical illness who do not have confirmed or suspected VTE.

Conclusions: This recommendation was based on low certainty in the evidence, which underscores the need for additional high-quality, randomized, controlled trials comparing different intensities of anticoagulation in critically ill patients. Other key research priorities include better evidence regarding predictors of thrombosis and bleeding risk in critically ill patients with COVID-19 and the impact of nonanticoagulant therapies (eg, antiviral agents, corticosteroids) on thrombotic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416320PMC
October 2021

Reply to: Hypogammaglobulinemia in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with rituximab: Should we switch biologic?

Arthritis Rheumatol 2021 Aug 4. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

We thank Dr. Evangelatos for his interest in the guideline and his efforts to provide further clarity to this clinical scenario. During the guideline process, the voting panel thoroughly discussed many of these aspects of hypogammaglobulinemia during rituximab treatment that Dr. Evangelatos has adeptly described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41942DOI Listing
August 2021

Public health effects of travel-related policies on the COVID-19 pandemic: A mixed-methods systematic review.

J Infect 2021 10 24;83(4):413-423. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Evidence-Based Public Health Unit, Center for International Health Protection, Robert Koch Institute, Nordufer. 20, Berlin 13353, Germany. Electronic address:

Objectives: To map travel policies implemented due to COVID-19 during 2020, and conduct a mixed-methods systematic review of health effects of such policies, and related contextual factors.

Design: Policy mapping and systematic review. DATA SOURCES AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: for the policy mapping, we searched websites of relevant government bodies and used data from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker for a convenient sample of 31 countries across different regions. For the systematic review, we searched Medline (Ovid), PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and COVID-19 specific databases. We included randomized controlled trial, non-randomized studies, modeling studies, and qualitative studies. Two independent reviewers selected studies, abstracted data and assessed risk of bias.

Results: Most countries adopted a total border closure at the start of the pandemic. For the remainder of the year, partial border closure banning arrivals from some countries or regions was the most widely adopted measure, followed by mandatory quarantine and screening of travelers. The systematic search identified 69 eligible studies, including 50 modeling studies. Both observational and modeling evidence suggest that border closure may reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, disease spread across countries and between regions, and slow the progression of the outbreak. These effects are likely to be enhanced when implemented early, and when combined with measures reducing transmission rates in the community. Quarantine of travelers may decrease the number of COVID-19 cases but its effectiveness depends on compliance and enforcement and is more effective if followed by testing, especially when less than 14 day-quarantine is considered. Screening at departure and/or arrival is unlikely to detect a large proportion of cases or to delay an outbreak. Effectiveness of screening may be improved with increased sensitivity of screening tests, awareness of travelers, asymptomatic screening, and exit screening at country source. While four studies on contextual evidence found that the majority of the public is supportive of travel restrictions, they uncovered concerns about the unintended harms of those policies.

Conclusion: Most countries adopted full or partial border closure in response to COVID-19 in 2020. Evidence suggests positive effects on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic for border closure (particularly when implemented early), as well as quarantine of travelers (particularly with higher levels of compliance). While these positive effects are enhanced when implemented in combination with other public health measures, they are associated with concerns by the public regarding some unintended effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2021.07.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310423PMC
October 2021

A modeling approach to derive baseline risk estimates for GRADE recommendations: Concepts, development, and results of its application to the American Society of Hematology 2019 guidelines on prevention of venous thromboembolism in surgical hospitalized patients.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 Jul 18;140:69-78. Epub 2021 Jul 18.

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Canada; Institute for Evidence in Medicine, Medical Center & Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: The goal of this study was to develop an approach that can be used where baseline risk estimates that are directly applicable to prioritized patient-important outcomes are not available from published studies.

Study Design: The McMaster University GRADE Centre and the ASH guideline panel for the prevention of VTE in surgical patients developed a modeling approach based on explicit assumptions about the distribution of symptoms, anatomical location, and severity of VTE events.

Results: We applied the approach to derive modeled estimates of baseline risk. These estimates were used to calculated absolute measures of anticipated effects that informed the discussion of the evidence and the formulation of 30 guideline recommendations.

Conclusion: Our approach can assist guideline developers facing a lack of information about baseline risk estimates that directly apply to outcomes of interest. The use of modeled estimates increases transparency in the process and makes the baseline risk used by guideline experts explicit during their decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.07.010DOI Listing
July 2021

Using Parallel Streams of Evidence to Inform Guideline Development: The Case of the 2021 American College of Rheumatology Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guideline.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2021 Sep 17;3(9):629-635. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

Clinical Research Institute, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Objective: We aim to describe an evidence synthesis approach using parallel streams of evidence that informed the development of the 2021 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) guideline for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: We developed the evidence synthesis approach using parallel streams of evidence in multiple rounds of discussion, piloting, feedback, and revisions. A number of working groups involving ACR staff, content experts, and methodologists coordinated to develop and implement the approach.

Results: We used a major stream of evidence that identified evidence specific to the clinical questions being addressed in the guideline (ie, we were able to match relevant articles to specific questions). We also used additional streams that identified data that applied across multiple questions. We describe in this article the different steps of the major stream, ie, screening and tagging, matching articles to question clusters, matching articles to individual questions, data abstraction and analysis, and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADEing). We then describe how we packaged the parallel streams of evidence into standardized structured tables to facilitate formulating the recommendations. These tables included information for the following factors: desirable effects, undesirable effects, certainty of evidence, valuation of outcomes, cost of interventions, and cost-effectiveness of interventions. The approach allowed us to match eligible articles for 47 of 81 clinical questions. We identified no eligible articles that addressed the remaining 34 questions.

Conclusion: We were successful in using parallel streams of evidence to inform the development of the 2021 ACR guideline for the management of RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11300DOI Listing
September 2021

Decision aids linked to evidence summaries and clinical practice guidelines: results from user-testing in clinical encounters.

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2021 06 29;21(1):202. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

MAGIC Evidence Ecosystem Foundation, Oslo, Norway.

Background: Tools for shared decision-making (e.g. decision aids) are intended to support health care professionals and patients engaged in clinical encounters involving shared decision-making. However, decision aids are hard to produce, and onerous to update. Consequently, they often do not reflect best current evidence, and show limited uptake in practice. In response, we initiated the Sharing Evidence to Inform Treatment decisions (SHARE-IT) project. Our goal was to develop and refine a new generation of decision aids that are generically produced along digitally structured guidelines and evidence summaries.

Methods: Applying principles of human-centred design and following the International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) and GRADE methods for trustworthy evidence summaries we developed a decision aid prototype in collaboration with the Developing and Evaluating Communication strategies to support Informed Decisions and practice based on Evidence project (DECIDE). We iteratively user-tested the prototype in clinical consultations between clinicians and patients. Semi-structured interviews of participating clinicians and patients were conducted. Qualitative content analysis of both user-testing sessions and interviews was performed and results categorized according to a revised Morville's framework of user-experience. We made it possible to produce, publish and use these decision aids in an electronic guideline authoring and publication platform (MAGICapp).

Results: Direct observations and analysis of user-testing of 28 clinical consultations between physicians and patients informed four major iterations that addressed readability, understandability, usability and ways to cope with information overload. Participants reported that the tool supported natural flow of the conversation and induced a positive shift in consultation habits towards shared decision-making. We integrated the functionality of SHARE-IT decision aids in MAGICapp, which has since generated numerous decision aids.

Conclusion: Our study provides a proof of concept that encounter decision aids can be generically produced from GRADE evidence summaries and clinical guidelines. Online authoring and publication platforms can help scale up production including continuous updating of electronic encounter decision aids, fully integrated with evidence summaries and clinical practice guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01541-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240084PMC
June 2021

Does a Positive Surgical Margin After Nephron Sparing Surgery Affect Oncological Outcome in Renal Cell Carcinoma? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Urology 2021 Oct 27;156:e30-e39. Epub 2021 Jun 27.

Division of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Department of Surgery, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon. Electronic address:

We systematically evaluated the impact of positive surgical margins (PSM) on oncological outcomes after partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. Forty-two studies comprising 101,153 subjects were included and five distinct meta-analyses were performed. PSM was associated with increased risk of local recurrence (hazard ratio (HR) 6.11-high certainty), metastasis (HR 3.29-moderate certainty), overall relapse (HR 2.25-high certainty), overall mortality (HR 1.30-moderate certainty), and may be associated with increased cancer-specific mortality (HR 1.91-low certainty). Patients with PSM should be counseled for the possibility of additional surgery, novel adjuvant therapies, and more rigorous surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2021.04.058DOI Listing
October 2021

2021 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2021 07 8;73(7):924-939. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York.

Objective: To develop updated guidelines for the pharmacologic management of rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: We developed clinically relevant population, intervention, comparator, and outcomes (PICO) questions. After conducting a systematic literature review, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to rate the certainty of evidence. A voting panel comprising clinicians and patients achieved consensus on the direction (for or against) and strength (strong or conditional) of recommendations.

Results: The guideline addresses treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including conventional synthetic DMARDs, biologic DMARDs, and targeted synthetic DMARDs, use of glucocorticoids, and use of DMARDs in certain high-risk populations (i.e., those with liver disease, heart failure, lymphoproliferative disorders, previous serious infections, and nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease). The guideline includes 44 recommendations (7 strong and 37 conditional).

Conclusion: This clinical practice guideline is intended to serve as a tool to support clinician and patient decision-making. Recommendations are not prescriptive, and individual treatment decisions should be made through a shared decision-making process based on patients' values, goals, preferences, and comorbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24596DOI Listing
July 2021

2021 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2021 07 8;73(7):1108-1123. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York, United States.

Objective: To develop updated guidelines for the pharmacologic management of rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: We developed clinically relevant population, intervention, comparator, and outcomes (PICO) questions. After conducting a systematic literature review, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was used to rate the certainty of evidence. A voting panel comprising clinicians and patients achieved consensus on the direction (for or against) and strength (strong or conditional) of recommendations.

Results: The guideline addresses treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including conventional synthetic DMARDs, biologic DMARDs, and targeted synthetic DMARDs, use of glucocorticoids, and use of DMARDs in certain high-risk populations (i.e., those with liver disease, heart failure, lymphoproliferative disorders, previous serious infections, and nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease). The guideline includes 44 recommendations (7 strong and 37 conditional).

Conclusion: This clinical practice guideline is intended to serve as a tool to support clinician and patient decision-making. Recommendations are not prescriptive, and individual treatment decisions should be made through a shared decision-making process based on patients' values, goals, preferences, and comorbidities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41752DOI Listing
July 2021

Update on the JCE GRADE series and other GRADE article types.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Michael G. DeGroote Cochrane Canada & McMaster GRADE Centres, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; Institute for Evidence in Medicine, Medical Center and Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.05.023DOI Listing
June 2021

Development and application of health outcome descriptors facilitated decision-making in the production of practice guidelines.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 10 13;138:115-127. Epub 2021 May 13.

Michael G. DeGroote Cochrane Canada & McMaster GRADE Centres, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; Institut für Evidence in Medicine, Medical Center & Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Stakeholders involved in developing recommendations need to have a common understanding of health outcomes and the perspective of affected individuals. In this paper we report on the development and application of health outcome descriptors (HODs) to inform decision-making by panels developing guideline recommendations.

Study Design And Setting: Ten American Society of Hematology guideline panels addressing the management of venous thromboembolism developed HODs, rated their importance and health utility, applied them to prioritize outcomes, and to balance potential benefits and harms to formulate recommendations.

Results: It was feasible to involve 18 panelists in developing 127 HODs. There was high agreement (82%) across the ten panels about outcomes perceived as critical or important for decision-making. Panelists' utility ratings of the outcomes were strongly correlated with panelists' outcome importance ratings (Pearson's r=-0.88). HODs were incorporated into Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) evidence-to-decision (EtD) frameworks to support a shared understanding of health outcomes in panel deliberations.

Conclusion: HODs serve as a valuable tool to promote an explicit, common understanding of health outcomes during clinical guideline development and across different stakeholders. They are helpful across multiple steps of guideline development to facilitate panels' judgements, aiming to avoid variable implicit interpretations of health outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.04.016DOI Listing
October 2021

Contextual differences considered in the Tunisian ADOLOPMENT of the European guidelines on breast cancer screening.

Health Res Policy Syst 2021 May 13;19(1):80. Epub 2021 May 13.

American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Background: Breast cancer is a common disease in Tunisia and is associated with high mortality rates. The "Instance Nationale de l'Evaluation et de l'Accréditation en Santé" (INEAS) and the Tunisian Society of Oncology decided to develop practice guidelines on the subject. While the development of de novo guidelines on breast cancer screening is a demanding process, guideline adaptation appears more appropriate and context sensitive. The objective of this paper is to describe the adaptation process of the European Guidelines on Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis to the Tunisian setting in terms of the methodological process, contextual differences between the source and adoloped guideline, and changes in the recommendations.

Methods: We used the 'Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation' (GRADE)-ADOLOPMENT methodology to prioritize the topic, select the source guideline, and prioritize the questions and the outcomes. Once the source guideline was selected-the European Breast Cancer Guidelines-the European Commission´s Joint Research Centre shared with the project team in Tunisia all relevant documents and files. In parallel, the project team searched for local studies on the disease prevalence, associated outcomes' baseline risks, patients' values and preferences, cost, cost-effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility. Then, the adoloping panel reviewed the GRADE evidence tables and the Evidence to Decision tables and discussed whether their own judgments were consistent with those from the source guideline or not. They based their judgments on the evidence on health effects, the contextual evidence, and their own experiences.

Results: The most relevant contextual differences between the source and adoloped guidelines were related to the perspective, scope, prioritized questions, rating of outcome importance, baseline risks, and indirectness of the evidence. The ADOLOPMENT process resulted in keeping 5 out of 6 recommendations unmodified. One recommendation addressing "screening versus no screening with ultrasound in women with high breast density on mammography screening" was modified from 'conditional against' to 'conditional for either' due to more favorable ratings by the adoloping panel in terms of equity and feasibility.

Conclusion: This process illustrates both the feasibility of GRADE-ADOLOPMENT approach and the importance of consideration of contextual evidence. It also highlights the value of collaboration with the organization that developed the source guideline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12961-021-00731-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117583PMC
May 2021

Resuming aspirin in patients with non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Ann Gastroenterol 2021 23;34(3):344-353. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Division of Gastroenterology, American University of Beirut, Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon (Jana G. Hashash, Roni Aoun, Kassem Barada).

Background: Our primary and secondary aims were to analyze the evidence surrounding mortality and re-bleeding risks in patients on aspirin with non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB) as a function of whether or not aspirin was resumed after the bleeding episode, and to determine whether aspirin intake upon admission affected the outcomes.

Methods: A search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective observational studies was performed. Data extraction and risk of bias assessment were done. Generic inverse variance and random-effects model were employed. Heterogeneity across studies was assessed using the test. Certainty of evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach for each comparison and outcome, and an evidence profile was created.

Results: Evidence from 1 RCT and 4 observational studies suggests that early aspirin resumption reduced mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 0.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.06-0.63) while increasing re-bleeding risk (HR 1.90, 95%CI 0.60-6.00); moderate certainty of evidence. The observational evidence was inconsistent for both mortality (HR 0.84, 95%CI 0.54-1.33) and re-bleeding (HR 0.85, 95%CI 0.47-1.55); very low certainty of evidence. Nine observational studies addressed our secondary aim: 6 provided inconsistent results regarding mortality (pooled odds ratio [OR] 1.1, 95%CI 0.80-1.50) and 4 provided inconsistent results regarding re-bleeding risk (pooled OR 0.92, 95%CI 0.53-1.59); very low certainty of evidence for both outcomes.

Conclusion: Evidence supporting a protective effect of aspirin resumption soon after NVUGIB is of low-to-moderate certainty, and is not informative as to the optimal timing of aspirin resumption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20524/aog.2021.0617DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8079865PMC
March 2021

Getting trustworthy guidelines into the hands of decision-makers and supporting their consideration of contextual factors for implementation globally: recommendation mapping of COVID-19 guidelines.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 07 6;135:182-186. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Infectious Diseases, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Michael G. DeGroote Cochrane Canada Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; McMaster GRADE Centre, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Published research on COVID-19 is increasing rapidly and integrated in guidelines. The trustworthiness of guidelines can vary depending on the methods used to assemble and evaluate the evidence, the completeness and transparency of reporting on the process undertaken and how conflicts of interest are addressed. With a global consortium of partners and collaborators, we have created a catalogue of COVID-19 recommendations as our direct response to the increased need for structured access to high quality guidance in the field. The COVID19 map of recommendations and gateway to contextualization (https://covid19.recmap.org) is a living project: emerging guideline literature is added on an ongoing basis, allowing granular access to individual recommendations. Building on prior work on mapping recommendations for the World Health Organization tuberculosis guidelines, a novel feature of this map is the self-directed contextualization of the recommendations using the GRADE-Adolopment approach to adopt, adapt or synthesize de novo recommendations for context specific questions. Through our map, stakeholders access the evidence underpinning a recommendation, select what needs to be contextualized and go through the steps of development of adapted recommendations. This one-stop shop portal of evidence-informed recommendations, built with intuitive functionalities, easy to navigate and with a support team ready to guide users across the maps, represents a long-needed tool for decision-makers, guideline developers and the public at large.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.03.034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8022513PMC
July 2021

Appropriate Use of Short-Course Antibiotics in Common Infections: Best Practice Advice From the American College of Physicians.

Ann Intern Med 2021 06 6;174(6):822-827. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (A.Q.).

Description: Antimicrobial overuse is a major health care issue that contributes to antibiotic resistance. Such overuse includes unnecessarily long durations of antibiotic therapy in patients with common bacterial infections, such as acute bronchitis with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation, community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), urinary tract infections (UTIs), and cellulitis. This article describes best practices for prescribing appropriate and short-duration antibiotic therapy for patients presenting with these infections.

Methods: The authors conducted a narrative literature review of published clinical guidelines, systematic reviews, and individual studies that addressed bronchitis with COPD exacerbations, CAP, UTIs, and cellulitis. This article is based on the best available evidence but was not a formal systematic review. Guidance was prioritized to the highest available level of synthesized evidence.

Best Practice Advice 1:

Best Practice Advice 2:

Best Practice Advice 3:

Best Practice Advice 4:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M20-7355DOI Listing
June 2021

The PRISMA 2020 statement: An updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews.

Int J Surg 2021 Apr 29;88:105906. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Centre for Journalology, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada; School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update to the guideline. The PRISMA 2020 statement replaces the 2009 statement and includes new reporting guidance that reflects advances in methods to identify, select, appraise, and synthesise studies. The structure and presentation of the items have been modified to facilitate implementation. In this article, we present the PRISMA 2020 27-item checklist, an expanded checklist that details reporting recommendations for each item, the PRISMA 2020 abstract checklist, and the revised flow diagrams for original and updated reviews.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2021.105906DOI Listing
April 2021

The PRISMA 2020 statement: An updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews.

J Clin Epidemiol 2021 06 29;134:178-189. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Centre for Journalology, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada; School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update to the guideline. The PRISMA 2020 statement replaces the 2009 statement and includes new reporting guidance that reflects advances in methods to identify, select, appraise, and synthesise studies. The structure and presentation of the items have been modified to facilitate implementation. In this article, we present the PRISMA 2020 27-item checklist, an expanded checklist that details reporting recommendations for each item, the PRISMA 2020 abstract checklist, and the revised flow diagrams for original and updated reviews.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.03.001DOI Listing
June 2021
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