Voluntary associations such as the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, as well as commercial firms, may reformat guidelines in various ways for dissemination to different groups.
Guidelines can vary quite dramatically, both logically and graphically, in their modes of presentation.
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Each example is preceded by an annotation indicating the principal information for the five variables just noted.
In addition, a brief introduction highlights especially salient points about the item in terms of purpose, content, or presentation.
Apart from the sponsoring agency or organization, guidelines can vary (as noted in Chapter 1) in at least five key ways: The next section of this appendix discusses the ways guidelines may be formatted.
The rest of the appendix presents, in whole or in part, 16 guidelines and related items (see Table A-1).Generally, free text is the starting point for most other formats and itself has many variants.Shortened free-text versions of guidelines documents can be tailored for specific uses by specific types of practitioners.For example, a professional society may initially present its guidelines in one format in a journal but then rework them into another format for use in continuing medical education.The initial guidelines may also be converted by target users--—hospitals, clinics, utilization review firms, health maintenance organizations, patient groups, and others—into formats ranging from a sophisticated computer-based algorithm to a simple chart that the patient can put on the refrigerator door or bathroom mirror.The major approaches are free-text and formalized presentations, including if-then statements, algorithms, flowcharts, and decision trees.