Acupuncture and moxibustion have been widely applied in treating allergic rhinitis (AR). However, there is a lack of evidence-based guidelines for acupuncture and moxibustion for AR, thus we started a project on developing an international clinical practice guideline (CPG) for acupuncture and moxibustion for AR (WFASRP202001-SC05) approved by the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (WFAS). This study aims to formulate the clinical questions and important outcomes for this guideline.
Based on the principle of the WFAS standardization committee, multiple methods including the International PICO question survey, Delphi survey, and consensus conference of guideline development group (GDG) were applied. International PICO questionnaires widely gathered the demands from the target population. Then GDG selected clinical questions and important outcomes for the guideline via a mixed method of Delphi survey and consensus conference.
15 potential clinical questions and 10 sorts of outcomes were formulated under the supervision of a guideline steering group based on the analysis of 123 pieces of feedbacks from 17 countries of 5 continents. After 2 rounds of the Delphi survey, the consensus was reached in GDG that all of the potential questions were included. After 3 rounds of the Delphi survey, the consensus was reached that 9 of these outcomes were considered important outcomes.
15 clinical questions and 9 important outcomes were selected for the CPG for acupuncture and moxibustion for AR. Since there has not established a standard method in formulating the clinical questions and important outcomes for CPGs in acupuncture and moxibustion, this one will be a useful reference.