Generating evidence to inform an update of asthma clinical practice guidelines: Perspectives from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Abstract

Asthma is the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease worldwide. Its increasing prevalence and evidence of suboptimal control require renewed efforts in the development and widespread implementation of clinical practice guidelines for prevention, treatment, and control. Given the rapidly changing landscape and evolving best practices for guideline development, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute made a commitment to support rigorous systematic evidence reviews that frontline health care providers and stakeholders could use to create new or update existing guidelines. This article describes the protocols, key questions, methodology, and analytic framework to support the update of the 2007 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR-3) on the diagnosis and management of asthma in adults and children. It also describes the expert panel's practical experience in managing asthmatic patients across the age and severity spectrum. The article explains the process for ensuring that the expert panel's deliberations are conducted in accordance with the Institute of Medicine's standards and recommendations for guideline development. The outcome of this ambitious effort will be an update of the EPR-3 asthma guidelines and publication of the key recommendations in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Importantly, several novel approaches will be explored and incorporated as appropriate to accelerate adoption and sustained implementation of the guidelines.

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