Standards required for the development of CDC evidence-based guidelines
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Standards required for the development of CDC evidence-based guidelines

Filetype[PDF-382.84 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Suppl.
    • Description:
      CDC is the nation's premier health promotion, Prevention, and preparedness agency. As such, CDC is an important source of public health and clinical guidelines. If CDC guidelines are to be trusted by partners and the public, they must be clear, valid, and reliable. Methods and processes used in CDC guideline development should follow universally accepted Standards. This report describes the Standards required by CDC for the development of evidence-based guidelines. These Standards cover topics such as guideline scoping, soliciting external input, summarizing evidence, and crafting recommendations. Following these Standards can help minimize bias and enhance the quality and consistency of CDC guidelines.

      A CDC guideline is any document issued under agency authority that contains Rec.for clinical practice or public health policy. Rec.are statements that describe a specific Prevention, treatment, or policy action. The scientific evidence underlying these statements is typically obtained through the systematic review of the literature and organized in evidence summaries. These evidence summaries present the causal associations that were critical to the decision-making process used to develop the Rec.(10). However, in certain cases, a large body of indirect evidence or factors, such as ethics, practical experience, feasibility or common sense, might strongly support a recommended action. These statements for recommended action have been referred to as good practice Rec.(11). CDC guidelines fall under three general categories: interim, standard, and update. Interim guidelines are developed in response to emergencies, such as outbreaks and natural or manmade disasters. The term interim implies that CDC developed these guidelines using either expert opinion or indirect or emerging evidence, and the Rec.might change when more and better evidence becomes available. The Guidance for Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in the Context of Varying Community Transmission Levels and Vaccination Coverage is an example of an interim guideline (12). Standard guidelines consider the benefits and harms related to specific actions to address a disease, condition, or risk factor. In such guidelines, developers support evidence-based Rec.with systematic reviews of the literature.

      The 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain is an example of a standard guideline (13). Updated guidelines replace or Suppl.ement previously published interim or standard guidelines, usually reporting on new evidence that results in one or more changes to the recommendations.

      Suggested citation for this article: Carande-Kulis V, Elder RW, Koffman DM. Standards Required for the Development of CDC Evidence-Based Guidelines. MMWR Suppl. 2022;71(Suppl.-1):1–6. DOI:


    • Content Notes:
      Summary – Introduction -- Definitions and Types of CDC Guidelines -- Steps in Guideline Development -- Conclusion – References.
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