Canadian Schizophrenia Guidelines: Introduction and Guideline Development Process [2017]

The aim of the Canadian Schizophrenia Guidelines is to provide evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The target users are health care professionals. Recommendations are provided as guidance to physicians and patients, with the goal of improving the overall standard of care of individuals with schizophrenia.

The guidelines were developed using the ADAPTE process, a systematic approach and alternative to de novo guideline development, in which an existing guideline is customised to suit the local context. We assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts, patients, and family carers from across Canada with the goal of involving individuals with diverse areas of expertise and offering different perspectives.

We identified 6 guidelines that were suitable for adaptation. Recommendations from each guideline were extracted and, based on content, were reviewed by the relevant working group. Each working group examined the evidence from which the recommendation was derived and the acceptability and applicability of the recommendation to the Canadian context. Working groups also made decisions on modifications to recommendations when language or terms differed between the source guideline and the Canadian context. Each working group presented selected recommendations to the guideline panel at an in-person consensus meeting. Once the consensus process was completed, each working group created a manuscript with the recommendations adapted from the included guidelines, with the rationale for each recommendation.

The process yielded an up-to-date list of evidence-based recommendations that are relevant and applicable in Canada.

Tamara Pringsheim MD, Donald Addington, MD
The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 62, Issue 9, 2017