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Evaluation of a wiki-based platform to develop clinical practice guidelines

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Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Jutta von Dincklage

Contact person

Jutta von Dincklage
Abstract text
Background: Clinical practice guidelines in cancer need to be effectively disseminated, regularly updated as new evidence is published and enable wide stakeholder consultation. These goals were difficult to achieve with printed guidelines, so Cancer Council Australia has developed a wiki-based platform to support all stages of guideline development (GD). Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the wiki platform at each stage of guideline production. Methods:The key steps in guideline production had to be integrated with the wiki capability. Clinical questions were identified by the guideline working group and search strategies were developed to perform a systematic review for each question. Literature searches were recorded and an online tool was developed to screen and appraise the results as well as extract the key data of each relevant study on the wiki. Evidence-based recommendations were developed and evidence tables automatically generated. Stakeholders could comment on each section of the guidelines on the wiki and then the guidelines were disseminated electronically. Web analytics were used to monitor usage. Results: The wiki platform was developed in 2010. For the lung guidelines, 22 authors identified 67 clinical questions. The literature search and screening process resulted in 2035 potentially relevant articles being forwarded for detailed methodological evaluation with another 571 added through snowballing and other methods. To fine-tune the initial draft content, the working party used the wiki to exchange 156 internal comments in 9 weeks. The web statistics recorded that 1055 users visited lung cancer content pages during the initial 30-day public consultation period. There were 38 external comments which resulted in 31 content edits by the working party. Conclusions: The wiki platform was embraced by both guideline writers and the public. The next phase is to test sustainability and develop and link educational modules about the guidelines.