IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 42 / Issue 4 / DOI: 10.31083/j.ejgo4204098
Open Access Original Research
Developing evidence-based Multisociety Italian Guidelines for cervical cancer prevention: rationale, methods, and development process
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1 Multisociety Italian Guidelines for Cervical Cancer Prevention Working Group, Italy

These authors contributed equally.

Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2021 , 42(4), 634–642; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.ejgo4204098
Submitted: 30 March 2021 | Revised: 4 May 2021 | Accepted: 14 May 2021 | Published: 15 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Update on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening)
Abstract

Objective: Cervical cancer prevention shows a variability across Italian Regions unjustified by available evidence, increasing the health, economic and organizational burden. Evidence-based recommendations on topics not covered by international guidelines are needed to tackle existing inequalities. This article describes the rationale, methods, and process for development of the Multisociety Italian Guidelines for cervical cancer prevention. Methods: The Italian legislative framework requires guidelines to be consistent with methodological standards set by the National System for Guidelines (SNLG) of the National Institute of Health. Results: The nine scientific societies involved in cervical cancer prevention participated to the project, including clinicians, policy makers, methodologists, and researchers. Patients were involved as full voting panel members. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach was adopted to assess the certainty of evidence collected by systematic reviews. The GRADE Evidence-to-Decision framework (EtD) was used to structure the appraisal of evidence and to formulate final recommendations. The EtD and a conflict-of-interests management policy were adopted to minimize the influence of competing interests. Discussion: Full transparency guided the reporting of each step of the process, to support the implementation of recommendations in each context and the future updating process. Considerations for subgroups, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of recommendations and research priorities were also provided. A two-step review process by external experts and SNLG reviewers, prior to online publication, ensured the methodological robustness underlying final recommendations. Finally, to increase publication timeliness, guidelines are organised in chapters that group sets of related recommendations to be published independently.

Keywords
Cervical cancer
Screening
Recommendations
Evidence-based medicine
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