European Society of Cardiology
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About the ESC
Guidelines & Surveys
Welcome to the European Society of Cardiology. Our mission: to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe

Writing ESC Guidelines

The ESC has issued recommendations for formulating Guidelines.

Guidelines aim to present all the relevant evidence on a particular clinical issue in order to help physicians to weigh the benefits and risks of a particular diagnostic or therapeutic procedure. They should be helpful in everyday clinical medical decision-making.
A great number of guidelines have been issued in recent years by different national and international organisations. However, this profusion of documents can endanger the authority and validity of guidelines, which can only be guaranteed if they have been developed by an unquestionable decision-making process. This is one of the reasons why the ESC and others have issued recommendations for formulating and issuing guidelines.

In spite of the fact that standards for issuing good quality guidelines are well defined, recent surveys of guidelines published in peer-reviewed journals have shown that methodological standards were not complied with in large numbers. It is therefore of great importance that guidelines and recommendations are presented in formats that are easily interpreted. It has become evident that application of guidelines improves the quality of clinical practice. Thus, implementation of the recommendations formulated in the guidelines is an integral part of the guidelines development process.

Recommendations for Guidelines Production

In order to facilitate the process of guidelines development, the ESC has issued  Recommendations for Guidelines Production that covers the following topics: