Using the Grade Approach to Support the Development of Recommendations for Public Health Interventions in Radiation Emergencies

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Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) guideline development policy requires that WHO guidelines be developed in a manner that is transparent and based on all available evidences, which must be synthesised and formally assessed for quality. To fulfil this requirement, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach of rating quality of evidence and grading strength of recommendations was applied when developing the WHO recommendations on public health interventions in radiation emergencies. The guideline development group (GDG) formulated 10 PICO (P: population; I: intervention; C: comparator; O: outcomes) questions to guide the development of recommendations on response interventions during the early/intermediate and late emergency phases and on risk communications for mitigating psycho-social impact of radiation emergencies. For each PICO question, an extensive evidence search and systematic review was conducted. The GDG then formulated the recommendations using the evidence to recommendation (E-2-R) decision-making matrix and evaluated the strength of each recommendation.

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