The Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) asked the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) to co-ordinate the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC), which aims to ensure and harmonise the quality of care across Europe via the implementation of a voluntary European Quality Assurance scheme for Breast Cancer Services underpinned, for the screening and diagnosis care process, by evidence-based guidelines developed within the ECIBC, the European Breast Guidelines.
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of research evidence, an appropriate updating strategy is needed to maintain the trustworthiness and usefulness of these guidelines.
To develop an updating strategy for the European Breast Guidelines that is evidence-based, sustainable and in line with rules of the European Commission.
Starting from a systematic review on guidelines updating and liaising with research groups actively working in this field, we developed a workflow for the updating strategy of the European Breast Guidelines. This strategy was shared with the Guidelines Development Group (GDG) for their input and a piloting of the strategy was planned on seven healthcare questions.
The workflow of the updating strategy consists of four main steps: prioritisation, surveillance, updating and publication. More details about steps, timelines, tools to be used and actors involved are summarised in Figure 1. The strategy piloting will start in mid-March 2018 and for each step of the process information about time and human resources needed as well as methodological and feasibility issues will be collected for evaluation and used to refine the strategy proposed. The preliminary results of the piloting will be presented at the Colloquium.
The results of the piloting will help improve the updating strategy proposed for the European Breast Guidelines and thus ensure they remain up-to-date and trustworthy, offering breast cancer patients, professionals and policy-makers, as well as other stakeholders and citizens, clear, objective and independent guidance on breast cancer screening and diagnosis.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
There are three patient members in the GDG who are fully involved in the entire guideline development process, including the updating process.