International Comparison of Age-inclusive Guideline Development: An Audit Focused on User Involvement

Conference: The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2022)
Title: International Comparison of Age-inclusive Guideline Development: An Audit Focused on User Involvement
Stream: Public Policy
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Pauline Boland, University of Limerick, Ireland
Roxana Elena Cziker, Vision2Brain, Iceland
Paula Alexandra Silva, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Hing-Wah Chau, Victoria University, Australia
Stefan Danschutter, Belgian Building Research Institute, Belgium
Agnieszka Cieśla, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
Helen Kelly, University College Cork, Ireland


Ageing in place is an international issue, with a need for guidance for public and private services (WHO, 2018) and there has been an increased focus on ensuring older people to be included in guideline development. Given that these imperatives are relatively recent in guideline development, there is a need to evaluate how such guidelines are being developed.
Seven international multi-disciplinary researchers, as part of NET4Age COST action, collaborated to design and apply a guideline checklist to audit 4 age-friendly guidelines.
We reviewed a range of guideline appraisal tools and selected and extended the Mini-Checklist (Siebenhofer et al. 2016), from a 10 to 19-question checklist, to enhance the focus on user involvement in guideline development. Four recent national guidelines met the inclusion criteria to advise on age-friendly principles, written in English and contained recommendations.
There were either no/limited systematic searches for existing evidence and while all guidelines outlined some user involvement, there were missed opportunities for deep engagement and accessibility for diverse audiences including: 1) lack of lay summaries, 2) limited opportunities for older people to contribute past preliminary scoping and 3) no online tools/platforms for public commentary.
While it is encouraging to witness the development of age-friendly guidelines internationally, improvements to future guidelines should include: 1) ensure participatory approaches are genuinely embedded throughout guideline development, 2) plan funding and staffing expertise in guideline development beyond a ‘one-off’ publication and 3) specify responsible figures in public services for implementation, with related measures of outcome.

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