TABLE 2

Interpretation of strong and conditional recommendations

Strong recommendationWeak recommendation
For patientsMost individuals in this situation would want the recommended course of action and only a small proportion would not.The majority of individuals in this situation would want the suggested course of action, but many would not.
For cliniciansMost individuals should receive the recommended course of action. Adherence to this recommendation according to the guideline could be used as a quality criterion or performance indicator. Formal decision aids are not likely to be needed to help individuals make decisions consistent with their values and preferences.Different choices are likely to be appropriate for different patients and therapy should be tailored to the individual patient's circumstances. Those circumstances may include the patient or family's values and preferences.
For policy-makersThe recommendation can be adapted as policy in most situations including for the use as performance indicators.Policy making will require substantial debates and involvement of many stakeholders. Policies are also more likely to vary between regions. Performance indicators would have to focus on the fact that adequate deliberation about the management options has taken place.

Reproduced from [14] with permission from the publisher.