Methodology for the development of the NHF-McMaster Guideline on Care Models for Haemophilia Management

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Rigorous and transparent methods are necessary to develop clinically relevant and evidence-based practice guidelines. We describe the development of the National Hemophilia Foundation-McMaster Guideline on Care Models for Haemophilia Management, which addresses best practices in haemophilia care delivery.


We assembled a Panel of persons with haemophilia (PWH), parents of PWH, clinical experts and guideline methodologists. Conflicts of interest were disclosed and managed throughout. Panel members and key stakeholders were surveyed to develop the guideline questions and identify patient-important outcomes. Systematic reviews of the literature were conducted for all factors important in decision-making: benefits and harms; patient values and preferences; resource implications; acceptability; equity; and feasibility. We used the GRADE approach to create evidence profiles to evaluate the evidence and present key results. Evidence to Decision frameworks were created to guide the Panel in making evidence-based recommendations. When evidence was very low quality or not available, evidence from other chronic disease populations was presented to the Panel to inform the recommendations. Additionally, we systematically pooled observations from experts, and conducted qualitative interviews exploring key stakeholder experiences and perspectives. The Panel made recommendations for each guideline question and elaborated on research priorities, implementation considerations, and monitoring. Final recommendations were circulated for public and peer review.


Despite the paucity of high-quality evidence typical of a rare condition such as haemophilia, we successfully applied a rigorous and transparent methodology based on GRADE to develop an evidence-based clinical practice guideline.

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