Objective To provide a comprehensive, evidence-based overview of the risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, imaging, treatment and prognosis for Achilles tendinopathy. To make clinical recommendations for healthcare practitioners and patients.
Design Comprehensive multidisciplinary guideline process funded by the Quality Foundation of the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists. This process included a development, commentary and authorisation phase. Patients participated in every phase.
Data sources Multiple databases and existing guidelines were searched up to May 2019. Information from patients, healthcare providers and other stakeholders were obtained using a digital questionnaire, focus group interview and invitational conference.
Study eligibility criteria Studies on both insertional and/or midportion Achilles tendinopathy were eligible. Specific eligibility criteria were described per module.
Data extraction and synthesis To appraise the certainty of evidence, reviewers extracted data, assessed risk of bias and used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation method, where applicable. Important considerations were: patient values and preferences, costs, acceptability of other stakeholders and feasibility of implementation. Recommendations were made based on the results of the evidence from the literature and the considerations.
Primary outcome measure The primary and secondary outcome measures were defined per module and defined based on the input of patients obtained in collaboration with the Netherlands Patient Federation and healthcare providers from different professions.
Results Six specific modules were completed: risk factors and primary prevention, diagnosis, imaging, treatment prognosis and secondary prevention for Achilles tendinopathy.
Summary/conclusion Our Dutch multidisciplinary guideline on Achilles tendinopathy provides six modules developed according to the standards of the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists. Evidence-based recommendations for clinical practice are given for risk factors, prevention, diagnosis, imaging, treatment and prognosis. This guideline can assist healthcare providers and patients in clinical practice.
- achilles tendon
- risk factor
- injury prevention
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Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The supplementary files have been updated.
Contributors R-JdV initiated the project. R-JdV, ACvdV and MdO were involved in designing the project. ACvdV and R-JdV coordinated the project. ACvdV, AB, MP and NV provided support for the project by searching the literature, screening trials for inclusion, interpretation of the results of the data analyses and they checked whether the process followed the standards of the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists. All members from the workgroup (R-JdV, JZ, DEM, FS, RvI, FvdG and EV) were responsible for screening trials, the risk of bias assessment, data extraction, interpretation of the results of the data-analyses and the formulation of the final recommendations. All workgroup members were responsible for one specific Module of Submodule of the guideline and drafted the first version of this Module of Submodule with assistance of R-JdV and ACvdV. AW drafted the translated version of the Dutch guideline into English. R-JdV is project guarantor. All authors reviewed the final guideline and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work and approved the final manuscript for submission. The corresponding author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.
Funding This project received a grant from the Dutch Association of Medical Specialists to develop a clinical guideline for the management of patients with Achilles tendinopathy. The Netherlands Patient Federation is involved in this guideline development and assisted in sending out patient surveys. This non-commercial association is not involved in the planning, conduct or reporting of this project.
Competing interests The personal financial interests, personal relationships, external research funding, intellectual property and other potential conflicts of all authors are described in the supplementary file.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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