III. Development of the Red Book
The Red Book, 9th edn, has been developed by a team of general practitioners (GPs) and experts to ensure that the content is the most valuable and useful for GPs and their teams. The content broadly conforms to the highest evidence-based standards according to the principles underlying the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) tool.62,63
The dimensions addressed are:
- scope and purpose
- clarity of presentation
- rigour of development
- stakeholder involvement
- editorial independence.
The Red Book maintains developmental rigour, editorial independence, and relevance and applicability to general practice.
The recommendations in the Red Book are based on current, evidence-based guidelines for preventive activities. Focus has been on those most relevant to Australian general practice. Usually, this means that the recommendations are based on Australian guidelines such as those endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Where NHMRC guidelines are not available or recent, other sources have been used, such as guidelines from the National Heart Foundation of Australia, Canadian or US preventive guidelines, or the results of systematic reviews. References to support these recommendations are listed. However, particular references may relate only to part of the recommendation (eg only relating to one of the high-risk groups listed), and other references in the section may have been considered in formulating the overall recommendation.
These recommendations are based on the best available information at the time of writing (May 2015 to May 2016). Any updated information will be posted on The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ (RACGP) website. More information and guidelines can be found on the NHMRC website, the Australian Government clinical guidelines portal and the Cochrane Collaboration website.
- Harris MF, Bailey L, Snowdon T, et al. Developing the guidelines for preventive care – Two decades of experience. Aust Fam Physician 2010;39(1–2):63–65.
- Development and validation of an international appraisal instrument for assessing the quality of clinical practice guidelines: The AGREE project. Qual Saf Health Care 2003;12(1):18–23.