In an effort to respond promptly to new evidence, the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association (ACCF/AHA) Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Task Force) has created a “focused update” process to revise the existing guideline recommendations that are affected by the evolving data or opinion.
New evidence is reviewed in an ongoing fashion to more efficiently respond to important science and treatment trends that could have a major impact on patient outcomes and quality of care.
A new addition to this methodology is a separation of the Class III recommendations to delineate whether the recommendation is determined to be of “no benefit” or is associated with “harm” to the patient.
In addition, in view of the increasing number of comparative effectiveness studies, comparator verbs and suggested phrases for writing recommendations for the comparative effectiveness of one treatment or strategy versus another have been added for COR I and IIa, LOE A or B only.
The Class of Recommendation (COR) is an estimate of the size of the treatment effect considering risks versus benefits in addition to evidence and/or agreement that a given treatment or procedure is or is not useful/effective or in some situations may cause harm.
The Level of Evidence (LOE) is an estimate of the certainty or precision of the treatment effect.
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