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EULAR standardised operating procedures for the elaboration, evaluation, dissemination, and implementation of recommendations endorsed by the EULAR standing committees
  1. M Dougados1,
  2. N Betteridge2,
  3. G R Burmester3,
  4. L Euller-Ziegler4,
  5. F Guillemin5,
  6. J Hirvonen6,
  7. J Lloyd7,
  8. S Ozen8,
  9. J A P Da Silva9,
  10. P Emery10,
  11. J R Kalden11,
  12. T Kvien12,
  13. M Matucci-Cerinic13,
  14. J Smolen14
  1. 1Clinique de Rhumatologie B Groupe, Hospitalier Cochin, Paris 75014, France
  2. 2Arthritis Care, 18 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD, UK
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charite Humboldt University, Schumanstrasse 20–21, D 10117 Berlin, Germany
  4. 4Service de Rheumatologie, Archet Hospital, route de Saint-Antoine Ginestiere, 06202 Nice, Cedex 3, France
  5. 5Ecole de Santé Publique, Faculté de Médecine, BP 184, 54505 Vandoeuvre les Nancy, France
  6. 6Suomen Reumalittory, Iso Roobertinkatu 20–22A, Helsinki FIN-01200, Finland
  7. 7Brunel University, Department of Health Studies, Borough Rd, Isleworth TW7 5DU, UK
  8. 8Hacettepe University, Department of Paediatrics, 06100 Ankara, Turkey
  9. 9Nucleo de Reumatologia, Hospitalais de Universidade de Coimbra, Servicio de Medicina III et Reumatologia, 3000-075 Coimbra, Portugal
  10. 10Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal Diseases, Department of Rheumatology, 1st Floor, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK
  11. 11Institut for Clinical Immun & Rheumatism, University Erlangen-Nurenberg, Krakenhaustrasse 2, Erlangen 91054, Germany
  12. 12Oslo City Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, PO Box 23 Vinderen, Oslo N 0319, Norway
  13. 13Department Medicine/Division of Rheumatology, University of Florence, Villa Monna Tessa, Viale Pleraccini 18, Florence 50139, Italy
  14. 14Aligemeines Krankenhaus, Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Klinische Abteilung für Rheumatologie, Wahringe Gürtel 18–20, Vienna 1090, Austria
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor M Dougados
    maxime.dougadoscch.ap-hop-paris.fr

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It is the objective of the EULAR executive committee to promote actions and/or projects aimed at improving the knowledge and/or the recognition of musculoskeletal disorders.

The chief aim is to contribute to the improvement of outcome of patients with rheumatic disorders. Apart from the projects devoted to education and research, projects aimed at facilitating the conduct of clinical studies or at improving the management of musculoskeletal disorders are welcome. Such studies can be categorised in four sections:

  • Studies dedicated to a proposal for classification and/or diagnostic criteria

  • Recommendations for designing and/or conducting clinical trials in specific musculoskeletal disorders

  • Recommendations for monitoring and/or management and/or treatment of specific musculoskeletal disorders

  • Standardisation of (laboratory and other) procedures.

I RATIONALE OF STANDARDISED OPERATING PROCEDURES

It is the objective of the EULAR executive committee to maintain and to homogenise a high level of intrinsic quality and comparability of such studies.

To achieve such an objective it appeared that the definition and publication of standardised procedures for the elaboration, evaluation, dissemination, and implementation of recommendations might be a relevant and useful starting point.

Obviously these standardised operating procedures should not be a barrier to acceptance of a project if not all points are satisfied but might be important to consider before starting a project.

These recommendations are not mandatory in themselves but can be used flexibly.

II METHODOLOGICAL AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS

At each step of such projects (application, elaboration, dissemination, etc), the individual items summarised in table 1 should be discussed. The reader is invited to visit the EULAR website (http://www.eular.org) to check the most recently updated version of these procedures.

A Which wording?

The three proposals are “points to consider”, “recommendations”, “guidelines”.

It is the opinion of the EULAR executive committee members that, on the one hand, “guidelines” might appear too constraining and that, on the other hand, “points to consider” might be considered as too open. Recommendations can …

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