The making of guidelines

Pain is the most prevalent and feared symptom of all cancer patients, and studies show that a lot of patients are not sufficiently treated. This makes research on use of opioid analgesics crucial.

This week the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) guidelines for use of opioid analgesics in treatment of cancer pain, authored by PRC researchers, were published in Lancet Oncology. The guidelines are updates of previous recommendations, giving health care providers state-of-the-art evidence-based ways to treat cancer pain.

So how did these guidelines come to be?

1. Previous guidelines

The last version of the EAPC guidelines were reviewed and compared with other available guidelines, and consensus recommendations were created by an international expert panel. The content was divided into 22 topics.

2. Systematic reviews

Each topic was assigned to collaborators who developed systematic literature reviews, all using the same methodology when performing the reviews.

3. Writing recommendations

A writing committee combined the evidence derived from the reviews with the evaluations of the expert panel, and the results where endorsed by the EAPC Board of Directors. The outcome was 16 recommendations for use of opioid analgesics when treating cancer pain.

Posted by Ragnhild Green Helgås.

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