The previous evidence presentations are most useful to the guideline group when making recommendations. After the evidence has been used in the guideline process there are 2 options for how to write about patient views in the final guideline. Options can include:
- summarising the evidence on patient views across many recommendations in 1 section of the guideline
- providing the patient views for each recommendation.
The choice may depend on how many recommendations are in the guideline. If there are few recommendations, then 1 summary may be appropriate because readers will be able to apply the summary easily to each recommendation. If there are many recommendations, readers may appreciate having a summary of the views and experiences for each recommendation. If the recommendations are closely related and the views and experiences are similar across those recommendations, then 1 summary is adequate. However, if views, values, and experiences differ from recommendation to recommendation, specific descriptions within each recommendation would be necessary. Finally, if it is expected that each recommendation may not be read, may be made into a stand-alone document, or be copied into other related guidelines (that is, not necessarily always together with the other recommendations) then including a summary with each recommendation is likely the better choice.
For an example of how to summarise patient views across multiple recommendations in 1 section, see the American Society of Hematology 2018 guidelines for management of venous thromboembolism. For an example of how to summarise patient values and preferences for a recommendation in a guideline, see the CMAJ recommendation on screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea in primary care for individuals not known to be at high risk