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1.
Blood Advances ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1820127

ABSTRACT

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 in patients with COVID-19. Methods: ASH formed a multidisciplinary guideline panel, including 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 (through November 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. This is an update to guidelines published in February 2021 as part of the living phase of these guidelines. Results: The panel made one additional recommendation. The panel issued a conditional recommendation in favor of therapeutic-intensity over prophylactic-intensity anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19-related acute illness who do not have suspected or confirmed VTE. The panel emphasized the need for an individualized assessment of thrombotic and bleeding risk. The panel also noted that heparin (unfractionated or low-molecular-weight) may be preferred because of a preponderance of evidence with this class of anticoagulants. Conclusions: This conditional recommendation was based on very low certainty in the evidence, underscoring the need for additional, high-quality, randomized controlled trials comparing different intensities of anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19-related acute illness.

2.
BMJ Evid Based Med ; 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794512

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the development and quality of actionable statements that qualify as good practice statements (GPS) reported in COVID-19 guidelines. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review . We searched MEDLINE, MedSci, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), databases of Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Guidelines, NICE, WHO and Guidelines International Network (GIN) from March 2020 to September 2021. We included original or adapted recommendations addressing any COVID-19 topic. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We used GRADE Working Group criteria for assessing the appropriateness of issuing a GPS: (1) clear and actionable; (2) rationale necessitating the message for healthcare practice; (3) practicality of systematically searching for evidence; (4) likely net positive consequences from implementing the GPS and (5) clear link to the indirect evidence. We assessed guideline quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II tool. RESULTS: 253 guidelines from 44 professional societies issued 3726 actionable statements. We classified 2375 (64%) as GPS; of which 27 (1%) were labelled as GPS by guideline developers. 5 (19%) were labelled as GPS by their authors but did not meet GPS criteria. Of the 2375 GPS, 85% were clear and actionable; 59% provided a rationale necessitating the message for healthcare practice, 24% reported the net positive consequences from implementing the GPS. Systematic collection of evidence was deemed impractical for 13% of the GPS, and 39% explained the chain of indirect evidence supporting GPS development. 173/2375 (7.3%) statements explicitly satisfied all five criteria. The guidelines' overall quality was poor regardless of the appropriateness of GPS development and labelling. CONCLUSIONS: Statements that qualify as GPS are common in COVID-19 guidelines but are characterised by unclear designation and development processes, and methodological weaknesses.

3.
BMJ Evid Based Med ; 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794511

ABSTRACT

An evidence-based approach is considered the gold standard for health decision-making. Sometimes, a guideline panel might judge the certainty that the desirable effects of an intervention clearly outweigh its undesirable effects as high, but the body of supportive evidence is indirect. In such cases, the application of the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach for grading the strength of recommendations is inappropriate. Instead, the GRADE Working Group has recommended developing ungraded best or good practice statement (GPS) and developed guidance under which circumsances they would be appropriate.Through an evaluation of COVID-1- related recommendations on the eCOVID Recommendation Map (COVID-19.recmap.org), we found that recommendations qualifying a GPS were widespread. However, guideline developers failed to label them as GPS or transparently report justifications for their development. We identified ways to improve and facilitate the operationalisation and implementation of the GRADE guidance for GPS.Herein, we propose a structured process for the development of GPSs that includes applying a sequential order for the GRADE guidance for developing GPS. This operationalisation considers relevant evidence-to-decision criteria when assessing the net consequences of implementing the statement, and reporting information supporting judgments for each criterion. We also propose a standardised table to facilitate the identification of GPS and reporting of their development. This operationalised guidance, if endorsed by guideline developers, may palliate some of the shortcomings identified. Our proposal may also inform future updates of the GRADE guidance for GPS.

4.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 2022 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757507

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe divergence between actionable statements issued by COVID-19 guideline developers catalogued on the "COVID-19 Recommendations and Gateway to Contextualization" platform. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We defined divergence as at least two comparable actionable statements with different explicit judgements of strength, direction or subgroup consideration of the population or intervention. We applied content analysis to compare guideline development methods for a sample of diverging statements and to evaluate factors associated with divergence. RESULTS: Of the 138 guidelines evaluated, 85 (62%) contained at least one statement that diverged from another guideline. We identified 223 diverging statements in these 85 guidelines. We grouped statements into 66 clusters. Each cluster addressed the same population, intervention, and comparator group or just similar interventions. Clinical practice statements were more likely to diverge in explicit judgment of strength or direction compared to public health statements (Cramer's V = 0.7, Fisher's exact test; P <0.001). Statements were more likely to diverge in strength than direction. Date of publication, utilized evidence, interpretation of evidence, and contextualization considerations were associated with divergence. CONCLUSION: More than half of the assessed guidelines issued at least one diverging statement. This study helps understanding the types of differences between guidelines issuing comparable statements and factors associated with their divergence.

5.
Blood Adv ; 6(2): 664-671, 2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648275

ABSTRACT

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 3 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 1 additional recommendation. The panel issued a conditional recommendation against the use of outpatient anticoagulant prophylaxis in patients with COVID-19 who are discharged from the hospital and 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 postdischarge thromboprophylaxis. Other key research priorities include better evidence on assessing risk of thrombosis and bleeding outcomes in patients with COVID-19 after hospital discharge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematology , Venous Thromboembolism , Aftercare , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Patient Discharge , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology , Venous Thromboembolism/prevention & control
6.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 141: 161-171, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433469

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Publications , Research Design , World Health Organization
7.
Blood Adv ; 5(20): 3951-3959, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388719

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematology , Venous Thromboembolism , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Critical Illness , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology , Venous Thromboembolism/prevention & control
8.
J Rheumatol ; 48(8): 1330-1339, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229339

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To develop guidance on the use of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD). METHODS: The Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) formed a multidisciplinary panel including rheumatologists, researchers, methodologists, vaccine experts, and patients. The panel used the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach. Outcomes were prioritized according to their importance for patients and clinicians. Evidence from the COVID-19 clinical trials was summarized. Indirect evidence for non-COVID-19 vaccines in ARD was also considered. The GRADE evidence-to-decision (EtD) framework was used to develop a recommendation for the use of the 4 COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada as of March 25, 2021 (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, ChAdOx1, and Ad26.COV2.S), over 4 virtual panel meetings. RESULTS: The CRA guideline panel suggests using COVID-19 vaccination in persons with ARD. The panel unanimously agreed that for the majority of patients, the potential health benefits of vaccination outweigh the potential harms in people with ARDs. The recommendation was graded as conditional because of low or very low certainty of the evidence on the effects in the population of interest, primarily due to indirectness and imprecise effect estimates. The panel felt strongly that persons with autoimmune rheumatic diseases who meet local eligibility should not be required to take additional steps compared to people without ARDs to obtain their vaccination. Guidance on medications, implementation, monitoring of vaccine uptake, and research priorities are also provided. CONCLUSION: This recommendation will be updated over time as new evidence emerges, with the latest recommendation, evidence summaries, and EtD available on the CRA website.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Rheumatology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada , Humans , Rheumatic Diseases/complications , Vaccination
9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(9): 1657-1659, 2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216612

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are parallel and interacting health emergencies that provide the opportunity for mutual learning. As their measures and consequences are comparable, the COVID-19 pandemic helps to illustrate the potential long-term impact of AMR, which is less acute but not less crucial. They may also impact each other as there is a push to use existing antimicrobials to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients in the absence of specific treatments. Attempts to manage the spread of COVID-19 may also lead to a slowdown in AMR. Understanding how COVID-19 affects AMR trends and what we can expect if these trends remain the same or worsen will help us to plan the next steps for tackling AMR. Researchers should start collecting data to measure the impact of current COVID-19 policies and programs on AMR.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents , COVID-19 , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Emergencies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Blood Adv ; 5(3): 872-888, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072924

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related critical illness and acute illness are associated with a 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 for patients with COVID-19-related critical illness and acute illness who do not have confirmed or suspected VTE. METHODS: ASH formed a multidisciplinary guideline panel and applied strict management strategies to minimize potential bias from conflicts of interest. The panel included 3 patient representatives. The McMaster University GRADE Centre supported the guideline-development process, including performing systematic evidence reviews (up to 19 August 2020). 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, including GRADE Evidence-to-Decision frameworks, to assess evidence and make recommendations, which were subject to public comment. RESULTS: The panel agreed on 2 recommendations. The panel issued conditional recommendations in favor of prophylactic-intensity anticoagulation over intermediate-intensity or therapeutic-intensity anticoagulation for patients with COVID-19-related critical illness or acute illness who do not have confirmed or suspected VTE. CONCLUSIONS: These recommendations were based on very low certainty in the evidence, underscoring the need for high-quality, randomized controlled trials comparing different intensities of anticoagulation. They will be updated using a living recommendation approach as new evidence becomes available.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/pathology , Venous Thromboembolism/drug therapy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Enoxaparin/therapeutic use , Evidence-Based Medicine , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Societies, Medical , Venous Thromboembolism/complications
11.
Ann Intern Med ; 173(3): 204-216, 2020 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-725509

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mechanical ventilation is used to treat respiratory failure in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). PURPOSE: To review multiple streams of evidence regarding the benefits and harms of ventilation techniques for coronavirus infections, including that causing COVID-19. DATA SOURCES: 21 standard, World Health Organization-specific and COVID-19-specific databases, without language restrictions, until 1 May 2020. STUDY SELECTION: Studies of any design and language comparing different oxygenation approaches in patients with coronavirus infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), or with hypoxemic respiratory failure. Animal, mechanistic, laboratory, and preclinical evidence was gathered regarding aerosol dispersion of coronavirus. Studies evaluating risk for virus transmission to health care workers from aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) were included. DATA EXTRACTION: Independent and duplicate screening, data abstraction, and risk-of-bias assessment (GRADE for certainty of evidence and AMSTAR 2 for included systematic reviews). DATA SYNTHESIS: 123 studies were eligible (45 on COVID-19, 70 on SARS, 8 on MERS), but only 5 studies (1 on COVID-19, 3 on SARS, 1 on MERS) adjusted for important confounders. A study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 reported slightly higher mortality with noninvasive ventilation (NIV) than with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), but 2 opposing studies, 1 in patients with MERS and 1 in patients with SARS, suggest a reduction in mortality with NIV (very-low-certainty evidence). Two studies in patients with SARS report a reduction in mortality with NIV compared with no mechanical ventilation (low-certainty evidence). Two systematic reviews suggest a large reduction in mortality with NIV compared with conventional oxygen therapy. Other included studies suggest increased odds of transmission from AGPs. LIMITATION: Direct studies in COVID-19 are limited and poorly reported. CONCLUSION: Indirect and low-certainty evidence suggests that use of NIV, similar to IMV, probably reduces mortality but may increase the risk for transmission of COVID-19 to health care workers. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: World Health Organization. (PROSPERO: CRD42020178187).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Respiration, Artificial/adverse effects , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Aerosols , Animals , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/transmission , Systematic Reviews as Topic , World Health Organization
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