Getting trustworthy guidelines into the hands of decision-makers and supporting their consideration of contextual factors for implementation globally: recommendation mapping of COVID-19 guidelines

J Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 6;S0895-4356(21)00116-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2021.03.034. Online ahead of print.


Published research on COVID-19 is increasing rapidly and integrated in guidelines. The trustworthiness of guidelines can vary depending on the methods used to assemble and evaluate the evidence, the completeness and transparency of reporting on the process undertaken and how conflicts of interest are addressed. With a global consortium of partners and collaborators, we have created a catalogue of COVID-19 recommendations as our direct response to the increased need for structured access to high quality guidance in the field. The COVID19 map of recommendations and gateway to contextualization ( is a living project: emerging guideline literature is added on an ongoing basis, allowing granular access to individual recommendations. Building on prior work on mapping recommendations for the World Health Organization tuberculosis guidelines, a novel feature of this map is the self-directed contextualization of the recommendations using the GRADE-Adolopment approach to adopt, adapt or synthesize de novo recommendations for context specific questions. Through our map, stakeholders access the evidence underpinning a recommendation, select what needs to be contextualized and go through the steps of development of adapted recommendations. This one-stop shop portal of evidence-informed recommendations, built with intuitive functionalities, easy to navigate and with a support team ready to guide users across the maps, represents a long-needed tool for decision-makers, guideline developers and the public at large.

Keywords: COVID-19; GRADE; Guidelines; Health policy; Internet portal; Knowledge translation; Living recommendations; Public health; Quality appraisal.