Background: BMJ Rapid Recommendations (RapidRecs) are trustworthy guidelines published in the BMJ and MAGICapp in response to practice-changing evidence. RapidRecs are developed by unconflicted international panels of clinical experts, methodologists and patient partners. A cornerstone of RapidRecs is innovating methods for patient partnership.
Objectives:We sought to determine the feasibility and effect of patient partnership at each step of guideline development.
Methods:For each RapidRec, we recruit patient partners from consumer organisations, panel member referrals, and Twitter. Partners receive an invitation, conflict of interest form, and personal call describing RapidRecs, expected commitment, and timelines. Upon participation, they: 1) identify and prioritise patient-important outcomes for the supporting systematic review; 2) identify practical issues for shared decision making; 3) engage in an education session before panel deliberations; 4) participate in deliberation teleconferences; and, 5) edit draft recommendations and manuscript as co-authors. We will conduct interviews with patient partners and panel members to identify strengths and weaknesses of our approach. We will review impact by reporting unique contributions made by patient partners for each RapidRec.
Results:To date, we recruited 16 partners for 5 guidelines, from general consumer organisations (N=9), disease-specific consumer organisations (N=4), and referrals (N=3). Preliminary feedback from patients and panel members has been very positive regarding process and patients’ contributions. RapidRecs are focused guidelines, thus our approach may not generalise to complex guidelines or policy deliberations. Areas of improvement are maximising patient involvement without excessive burden, producing guidance on patient partnership for guideline development organisations, and documenting challenges (e.g. recruitment, education) and resources required. Project results will be presented at the Summit.
Conclusions:We provide a proof-of-concept that meaningful patient partnership is achievable, producing more trustworthy, relevant, and patient-centred guidelines for shared decision making.