A Participatory Framework for Plain Language Clinical Management Guideline Development

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Background: Clinical management guidelines (CMGs) are decision support tools for patient care used by professionals, patients, and family caregivers. Since clinical experts develop numerous CMGs, their technical language hinders comprehension and access by nonmedical stakeholders. Additionally, the views of affected individuals and their families are often not incorporated into treatment guidelines. We developed an adequate methodology for addressing the needs and preferences of family and professional stakeholders regarding CMGs, a recently developed protocol for managing congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG), a family of rare metabolic diseases. We used the CDG community and phosphomannomutase 2 (PMM2)-CDG CMGs as a pilot to test and implement our methodology. Results: We listened to 89 PMM2-CDG families and 35 professional stakeholders and quantified their CMG-related needs and preferences through an electronic questionnaire. Most families and professionals rated CMGs as relevant (86.5% and 94.3%, respectively), and valuable (84.3% and 94.3%, respectively) in CDG management. The most identified challenges were the lack of CMG awareness (50.6% of families) and the lack of plain language CMG (39.3% of professionals). Concordantly, among families, the most suggested solution was involving them in CMG development (55.1%), while professionals proposed adapting CMGs to include plain language (71.4%). Based on these results, a participatory framework built upon health literacy principles was created to improve CMG comprehension and accessibility. The outputs are six complementary CMG-related resources differentially adapted to the CDG community’s needs and preferences, with a plain language PMM2-CDG CMG as the primary outcome. Additionally, the participants established a distribution plan to ensure wider access to all resources. Conclusions: This empowering, people-centric methodology accelerates CMG development and accessibility to all stakeholders, ultimately improving the quality of life of individuals living with a specific condition and raising the possibility of application to other clinical guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13506
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022


  • clinical management guidelines
  • congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG)
  • health literacy
  • participatory medicine
  • people-centric
  • plain language
  • PMM2-CDG
  • rare diseases


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