Health Services Research & Development

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Dicianno BE, Beierwaltes P, Dosa N, Raman L, Chelliah J, Struwe S, Panlener J, Brei TJ. Scientific methodology of the development of the Guidelines for the Care of People with Spina Bifida: An initiative of the Spina Bifida Association. Disability and health journal. 2019 Jun 18.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: We combined literature review and consensus-building methodologies to develop health care guidelines for people with Spina Bifida across the life span. OBJECTIVE: The present paper describes the methodology used to update and expand this fourth edition of the Guidelines for the Care of People with Spina Bifida ("Guidelines"). This process was a fundamental initiative within the Spina Bifida Collaborative Care Network. METHODS: Working groups were formed consisting of international, multidisciplinary teams of clinical and research experts. A systematic review of multiple databases was conducted. The consensus building methodology, One-Text Procedure, was followed to draft and revise documents. Each section of the Guidelines was presented by working group chairs at a face-to-face meeting using the Nominal Group Technique (NGT). RESULTS: The Level 1 review resulted in 2449 abstracts being reviewed, and the Level 2 review resulted in 874 full text articles being archived for working groups. After working groups added and eliminated articles, a total of 803 manuscripts were included in the bibliography of the Guidelines. The final version of the Guidelines was then released in 2018. CONCLUSIONS: Evidenced based-research and consensus methodologies were used to develop the fourth edition of the Guidelines. It is hoped that this document will guide not only health care providers, but also patients and families, so that people with Spina Bifida can have the best and most scientifically-based care and treatments throughout ever-longer and higher-quality lives.