“Guidelines for the prevention and control of legionnaire’s disease in Italy”: guidelines or guidance?
- 1 Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
The creation of guidelines is a methodologically complex activity that requires technical expertise, resources and time. Methods of guideline production must meet at least these three criteria: multidisciplinarity, systematic review, and ranked recommendations. In May 2015, the new “Guidelines for the prevention and control of Legionnaire’s disease” were published on the website of the Italian Ministry of Health in order to “gather, update and integrate in a single document all the previous national recommendations published”. The critical review of the document has led us to conclude that this document does not comply with these three criteria, and we emphasize that guidelines should make decision-making easier, considering the various scientific approaches to a health problem and choosing the one considered most effective. Therefore, the persons responsible for the development of guidelines should strive to widely adopt and use current standards for the development of guidelines as a means to improve patient care and health outcomes.