The method used by the working group was an iterative process based upon a structured review of the relevant literature by a group of reporters. The review papers were circulated to the members of the group before the conference and formed the basis for subsequent discussions. Each paper was subject to detailed collective analysis and subsequently modified on the basis of the panel's discussions and referenced to additional relevant literature where appropriate. The group assessed the levels of evidence for the statements made in the supporting documentation and recognized that it was necessary to adopt a compromise between acceptance of the lowest level, resulting in the largest body of material, and the highest level, which, in some cases, produced little evidence. While this approach does not represent endorsement of lower evidence levels per se, it was designed to provide conclusions of clinical utility within the existing knowledge base. The consensus statements were prepared after a detailed consideration of the papers submitted to the workshop by the working group. The papers were scrutinized, amended and approved by the group. The basis of each paper is described in the section on 'search strategy' and defines the parameters within which the consensus statements were prepared.