Elie Akl

Elie Akl
American University of Beirut | AUB · Department of Internal Medicine

MD, MPH, PhD

About

752
Publications
234,730
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81,273
Citations

Publications

Publications (752)
Article
Objective To provide updated guidance on when GRADE users should consider rating down more than one level for imprecision using a minimally contextualized approach. Study design and setting Based on the first GRADE guidance addressing imprecision rating in 2011, a project group within the GRADE Working Group conducted iterative discussions and pre...
Article
Introduction GRADE guidance to rate the certainty domain of imprecision is presently not fully operationalized for rating down by two levels and when different or uncertainty in baseline risks are considered. In addition, there are scenarios in which lowering the certainty of evidence by three levels for imprecision is more appropriate than lowerin...
Preprint
Independent systematic reviewers may arrive at different conclusions when analyzing evidence addressing the same clinical questions. Similarly, independent expert panels may arrive at different recommendations addressing the same clinical topics. When faced with a multiplicity of reviews or guidelines on a given topic, users are likely to benefit f...
Article
Background: Living practice guidelines are increasingly being used to ensure that recommendations are responsive to rapidly emerging evidence. Objective: To develop a framework that characterizes the processes of development of living practice guidelines in health care. Design: First, 3 background reviews were conducted: a scoping review of me...
Article
Background: COVID-19 related critical illness is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Objective: These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians, and other health care professionals in decisions about the use of anticoagulation in patients with...
Article
Background : While the PRISMA 2020 statement is intended to guide the reporting of original systematic reviews, updated systematic reviews, and living systematic reviews (LSRs), its explanation and elaboration document notes that additional considerations for updated systematic reviews and LSRs may need to be addressed. This paper reports the proto...
Article
This is the protocol for a Campbell systematic review. The overall objective of this study is to gather and summarize the existing literature on conflict of interest issues when engaging stakeholders in guideline development.
Article
There is a need for the development of comprehensive, global, evidence‐based guidance for stakeholder engagement in guideline development. Stakeholders are any individual or group who is responsible for or affected by health‐ and healthcare‐related decisions. This includes patients, the public, providers of health care and policymakers for example....
Article
Objectives: To assess changes in the reporting of funding and conflicts of interest (COI) in biomedical research between preprint server publications and their corresponding versions in peer-reviewed journals. Study design: We selected preprint servers publishing exclusively biomedical research. From these, we screened articles by order of publi...
Article
Full-text available
This is the protocol for a Campbell systematic review. The objectives are as follows: to identify, describe, and summarize existing guidance and methods for multistakeholder engagement throughout the health guideline development process.
Preprint
Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic underlined that guidelines and recommendations must be made more accessible and more understandable to the general public, including adults, parents, and youth, to improve health outcomes. The objective of this study is to the public’s (youth, parents, and adult populations) understanding, usability, satisfaction,...
Article
Full-text available
Background: COVID-19 related acute illness is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Objective: These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians and other health care professionals in decisions about the use of anticoagulation in patients with COV...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To systematically identify and describe approaches to prioritise primary research topics in any health-related area. Methods We searched Medline and CINAHL databases and Google Scholar. Teams of two reviewers screened studies and extracted data in duplicate and independently. We synthesised the information across the included approaches...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To evaluate the development and quality of actionable statements that qualify as good practice statements (GPS) reported in COVID-19 guidelines. Design and setting Systematic review . We searched MEDLINE, MedSci, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), databases of Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluatio...
Article
Full-text available
An evidence-based approach is considered the gold standard for health decision-making. Sometimes, a guideline panel might judge the certainty that the desirable effects of an intervention clearly outweigh its undesirable effects as high, but the body of supportive evidence is indirect. In such cases, the application of the Grading of Recommendation...
Article
Objective Our objective was to develop an extension of the widely used GIN-McMaster Guideline Development Checklist and Tool for the integration of quality assurance and improvement (QAI) schemes with guideline development. Study Design and Setting We used a mixed-methods approach incorporating evidence from a systematic review, an expert workshop...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To develop a digital communication tool to improve the implementation of up-to-date COVID-19 recommendations. Specifically, to improve patient, caregiver and public understanding of healthcare recommendations on prevention, diagnoses and treatment. Study Design and Setting Multi-stakeholder engagement design. In conjunction with the COVI...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Adaptation of existing guidelines can be an efficient way to develop contextualized recommendations. Transparent reporting of the adaptation approach can support the transparency and usability of the adapted guidelines. Objective: To develop an extension of the RIGHT (Reporting Items for practice Guidelines in HealThcare) statement for...
Article
Full-text available
Background : A protocol for a practice guideline can facilitate the guideline development process, ensure its transparency, and improve the quality of the guidelines. However, there are currently no reporting guideline for guideline protocols. Methods : We intend to develop an extension of the Reporting Items for Practice Guidelines in HealThcare (...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) and similar Evidence to Decision (EtD) frameworks require its users to judge how substantial the effects of interventions are on desirable and undesirable people-important health outcomes. However, decision thresholds (DTs) that could help understand the magn...
Article
Objective Guideline panels must assess the magnitude of health benefits and harms to develop sensible recommendations. However, they rarely use explicit thresholds. In this paper we report on the piloting and the use thresholds for benefits and harms. Study Design and Setting We piloted the use of thresholds in a Chilean COVID-19 living guideline....
Article
Background Health research teams increasingly partner with stakeholders to produce research that is relevant, accessible, and widely used. Previous work has covered stakeholder group identification. Objective We aimed to develop factors for health research teams to consider during identification and invitation of individual representatives in a mu...
Article
Objectives: To assess the policies of biomedical preprint servers on the reporting of funding, conflict of interest (COI), author contributions, and research integrity. Study design and setting: We generated a list of potentially eligible preprint servers then judged their eligibility in duplicate and independently. Between July and September 2021,...
Article
Background : While the PRISMA 2020 statement is intended to guide the reporting of original systematic reviews, updated systematic reviews, and living systematic reviews (LSRs), its explanation and elaboration document notes that additional considerations for updated systematic reviews and LSRs may need to be addressed. This paper reports the proto...
Article
Full-text available
Background : While the PRISMA flow diagram is widely used for reporting standard systematic reviews (SRs), it was not designed for capturing the results of continual searches for studies in living systematic reviews (LSRs). The objectives of this study are (1) to assess how published LSRs report on the flow of studies through the different phases o...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) developed the Fellowship and Residency Research Program (FRRP) to provide residents and clinical fellows with a supervised and structured research experience. The objective of this study was to explore the views of FRRP participants about the training program and how to enhance i...
Article
Background People with cancer are at increased risk of blood clots. The blood thinner (anticoagulant) administered in the first few days after identifying a blood clot can consist of unfractionated heparin (infused through a vein), low molecular weight heparin (LMWH, injected under the skin once or twice per day; dalteparin and tinzaparin are two d...
Article
Full-text available
Objective This study aims to better understand the current practice of clinical guideline adaptation and identify challenges raised in this process, given that published adapted clinical guidelines are generally of low quality, poorly reported and not based on published frameworks. Design A qualitative study based on semistructured interviews. We...
Article
Uvod: Preporučene smjernice za izvještavanje u sustavnim pregledima i metaanalizama (engl. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses, PRISMA) prvi su put objavljene 2009. godine kako bi autorima sustavnih pregleda omogućile transparentno izvještavanje o predmetu istraživanja, korištenim metodama i dobivenim rezultatima. Tij...
Article
Full-text available
Background: COVID-19 related acute illness is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Objective: These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians and other health care professionals in decisions about the use of anticoagulation for thromboprophylax...
Article
Full-text available
This is the 24th in the ongoing series of articles describing the GRADE approach for assessing the certainty of a body of evidence in systematic reviews and health technology assessments and how to move from evidence to recommendations in guidelines. Guideline developers and authors of systematic reviews and other evidence syntheses use randomized...
Article
Background: Health guideline development requires sequential prioritization of the guideline topic, questions, and health outcomes. In this paper we report on new approaches for prioritizing questions and outcomes in guidelines. Methods: Ten guideline panels on venous thromboembolism rated potential guideline questions on a 9-point scale according...
Article
Full-text available
Background There are uncertainties about mitigating strategies for swimming-related activities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity to learn from the experience of previous re-openings to better plan the future one. Our objectives are to systematically review the evidence on (1) the association between engaging in swimmi...
Article
Context: The growing number of systematic reviews/meta-analyses (SR/MAs) on vitamin D (±calcium) for fracture prevention has led to contradictory guidelines. This umbrella review aims to assess the quality and explore the reasons for discrepancy of SR/MAs of trials on vitamin D supplementation for fracture risk reduction in adults. Evidence acqui...
Article
Background: Oral anticoagulants may improve the survival of people with cancer through an antithrombotic effect, yet increase the risk of bleeding. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral anticoagulants in ambulatory people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or radiotherapy (either alone or in c...
Article
Aim : The objectives of this scoping review are to identify the challenges to conducting evidence synthesis during the COVID-19 pandemic and to propose some recommendations addressing the identified gaps. Methods : A scoping review methodology was followed to map the literature published on the challenges and solutions of conducting evidence synth...
Article
Full-text available
Background: COVID-19 related critical illness is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Objective: These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians and other health care professionals in decisions about the use of anticoagulation for thromboprophy...
Article
Objectives: To propose a taxonomy and framework that identifies and presents actionable statements in guidelines. Study design and setting: We took an iterative approach reviewing case studies of guidelines produced by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Hematology to develop an initial conceptual framework. We then tested...
Article
Background: Multiple myeloma is a malignant plasma cell disorder characterised by clonal plasma cells that cause end-organ damage such as renal failure, lytic bone lesions, hypercalcaemia and/or anaemia. People with multiple myeloma are treated with immunomodulatory agents including lenalidomide, pomalidomide, and thalidomide. Multiple myeloma is...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The living systematic review (LSR) approach is based on an ongoing surveillance of the literature and continual updating. A few guidance documents address the conduct, reporting, publishing and appraisal of systematic reviews (SRs), but the methodology described is either not up-to date or not suitable for LSRs and misses additional LSR...
Article
We thank Dr. Evangelatos for his interest in the guideline and his efforts to provide further clarity to this clinical scenario. During the guideline process, the voting panel thoroughly discussed many of these aspects of hypogammaglobulinemia during rituximab treatment that Dr. Evangelatos has adeptly described.
Article
Full-text available
Objective We aim to describe an evidence synthesis approach using parallel streams of evidence that informed the development of the 2021 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) guideline for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods We developed the evidence synthesis approach using parallel streams of evidence in multiple rounds of disc...
Article
Objective: The goal of this study was to develop an approach that can be used where baseline risk estimates that are directly applicable to prioritized patient-important outcomes are not available from published studies. Study design: The McMaster University GRADE Centre and the ASH guideline panel for the prevention of VTE in surgical patients dev...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To map travel policies implemented due to COVID-19 during 2020, and conduct a mixed-methods systematic review of health effects of such policies, and related contextual factors. Design Policy mapping and systematic review Data sources and eligibility criteria for the policy mapping, we searched websites of relevant government bodies an...
Article
Full-text available
Background Tools for shared decision-making (e.g. decision aids) are intended to support health care professionals and patients engaged in clinical encounters involving shared decision-making. However, decision aids are hard to produce, and onerous to update. Consequently, they often do not reflect best current evidence, and show limited uptake in...
Article
Objective To develop updated guidelines for the pharmacologic management of rheumatoid arthritis. Methods We developed clinically relevant population, intervention, comparator, and outcomes (PICO) questions. After conducting a systematic literature review, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was u...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To develop updated guidelines for the pharmacologic management of rheumatoid arthritis. Methods We developed clinically relevant population, intervention, comparator, and outcomes (PICO) questions. After conducting a systematic literature review, the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach was u...
Article
We systematically evaluated the impact of positive surgical margins (PSM) on oncological outcomes after partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. Forty two studies comprising 101,153 subjects were included and 5 distinct meta-analyses were performed. PSM was associated with increased risk of local recurrence (HR 6.11 - high certainty), metastas...
Article
10536 Background: Prior studies and clinical trials report associations between self-reported race and clinical outcomes to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICIs). However, comprehensive studies of ancestry-associated differences in clinical outcomes have not been performed. We derived genetic ancestry scores and assessed clinical outcomes in 1341 pat...
Article
8559 Background: Malignnant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly lethal tumor that can develop in the pleura, the peritoneum, the pericardium or the testes. While the genomic features of pleural MM have been well-described overall, less is known about the distribution of genetic alterations (GAs) according to histology. In addition, few reports comparing...
Article
1559 Background: Tumor mutational burden (TMB), has been recently granted FDA approval as a biomarker for ICI treatment in tumors with a high mutation load (≥ 10/MB). To leverage this biomarker in the clinical setting, it is necessary to evaluate its application in diverse patient populations. In particular, tumor-only sequencing may overestimate T...
Article
Full-text available
Background Breast cancer is a common disease in Tunisia and is associated with high mortality rates. The “Instance Nationale de l’Evaluation et de l’Accréditation en Santé” (INEAS) and the Tunisian Society of Oncology decided to develop practice guidelines on the subject. While the development of de novo guidelines on breast cancer screening is a d...
Article
Objective Stakeholders involved in developing recommendations need to have a common understanding of health outcomes and the perspective of affected individuals. In this paper we report on the development and application of health outcome descriptors (HODs) to inform decision-making by panels developing guideline recommendations. Study Design and...
Article
Published research on COVID-19 is increasing rapidly and integrated in guidelines. The trustworthiness of guidelines can vary depending on the methods used to assemble and evaluate the evidence, the completeness and transparency of reporting on the process undertaken and how conflicts of interest are addressed. With a global consortium of partners...
Article
Full-text available
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update t...
Article
Full-text available
The methods and results of systematic reviews should be reported in sufficient detail to allow users to assess the trustworthiness and applicability of the review findings. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was developed to facilitate transparent and complete reporting of systematic reviews an...
Article
Full-text available
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update t...
Article
Full-text available
Background : While the PRISMA flow diagram is widely used for reporting standard systematic reviews (SRs), it was not designed for capturing the results of continual searches for studies in living systematic reviews (LSRs). The objectives of this study are (1) to assess how published LSRs report on the flow of studies through the different phases o...
Article
Full-text available
Background : While the PRISMA flow diagram is widely used for reporting standard systematic reviews (SRs), it was not designed for capturing the results of continual searches for studies in living systematic reviews (LSRs). The objectives of this study are (1) to assess how published LSRs report on the flow of studies through the different phases o...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Having up-to-date health policy recommendations accessible in one location is in high demand by guideline users. We developed an easy to navigate interactive approach to organize recommendations and applied it to tuberculosis (TB) guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). Study Design We used a mixed-methods study design to deve...
Article
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update t...
Article
Full-text available
The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, published in 2009, was designed to help systematic reviewers transparently report why the review was done, what the authors did, and what they found. Over the past decade, advances in systematic review methodology and terminology have necessitated an update t...