Weekly updates of national living evidence-based guidelines: methods for the Australian living guidelines for care of people with COVID-19

Britta Tendal, Joshua P. Vogel, Steve McDonald, Sarah Norris, Miranda Cumpston, Heath White, Karin Leder, David Fraile Navarro, Saskia Cheyne, Samantha Chakraborty, Melissa Murano, Tanya Millard, Henriette E. Callesen, Rakibul M. Islam, Julian Elliott, Tari Turner, on behalf of the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: The Australian National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce is a consortium of 31 Australian health professional organisations developing living, evidence-based guidelines for care of people with COVID-19, which are updated weekly. This article describes the methods used to develop and maintain the guidelines. Methods: The guidelines use the GRADE methods and are designed to meet Australian NHMRC standards. Each week, new evidence is reviewed, current recommendations are revised, and new recommendations made. These are published in MAGIC and disseminated through traditional and social media. Relevant new questions to be addressed are continually sought from stakeholders and practitioners. For prioritized questions, the evidence is actively monitored and updated. Evidence surveillance combines horizon scans and targeted searches. An evidence team appraises and synthesizes evidence and prepares evidence-to-decision frameworks to inform development of recommendations. A guidelines leadership group oversees the development of recommendations by multidisciplinary guidelines panels and is advised by a consumer panel. Results: : The Taskforce formed in March 2020, and the first recommendations were published 2 weeks later. The guidelines have been revised and republished on a weekly basis for 24 weeks, and as of October 2020, contain over 90 treatment recommendations, suggesting that living methods are feasible in this context. Conclusions: The Australian guidelines for care of people with COVID-19 provide an example of the feasibility of living guidelines and an opportunity to test and improve living evidence methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Guidelines
  • Living evidence
  • Methods

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