KEY TO EVIDENCE STATEMENTS AND GRADES OF RECOMMENDATIONS
The definitions of the types of evidence and the grading of recommendations used in thisguideline originate from the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
and are set out inthe following tables.
STATEMENTS OF EVIDENCE
Evidence obtained from meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Evidence obtained from at least one randomised controlled trial.
Evidence obtained from at least one well-designed controlled study withoutrandomisation.
Evidence obtained from at least one other type of well-designed quasi-experimentalstudy.
Evidence obtained from well-designed non-experimental descriptive studies, suchas comparative studies, correlation studies and case studies.
Evidence obtained from expert committee reports or opinions and/or clinicalexperiences of respected authorities.
GRADES OF RECOMMENDATIONS
ARequires at least one randomised controlled trial as part of a body of literature ofoverall good quality and consistency addressing the specific recommendation.
(Evidence levels Ia, Ib)
BRequires the availability of well conducted clinical studies but no randomisedclinical trials on the topic of recommendation.
(Evidence levels IIa, IIb, III)
CRequires evidence obtained from expert committee reports or opinions and/orclinical experiences of respected authorities. Indicates an absence of directlyapplicable clinical studies of good quality.
(Evidence level IV)
GOOD PRACTICE POINTS
Recommended best practice based on the clinical experience of the guidelinedevelopment group.