|To Be Determined
|An Insufficient Evidence recommendation means that there is both a lack of pertinent evidence (grade V)* and/or an unclear balance between benefits and harms.
|A Consensus recommendation means that Expert opinion (grade IV) supports the guideline recommendation even though the available scientific evidence did not present consistent results, or controlled trials were lacking.
|A Weak recommendation means that the quality of evidence that exists is suspect or that well-done studies (grade I, II, or III)* show little clear advantage to one approach versus another.
|A Fair recommendation means that the workgroup believes that the benefits exceed the harms (or that the harms clearly exceed the benefits in the case of a negative recommendation), but the quality of evidence is not as strong (grade II or III).* In some clearly identified circumstances, recommendations may be made based on lesser evidence when high-quality evidence is impossible to obtain and the anticipated benefits outweigh the harms.
|A Strong recommendation means that the workgroup believes that the benefits of the recommended approach clearly exceed the harms (or that the harms clearly exceed the benefits in the case of a strong negative recommendation), and that the quality of the supporting evidence is excellent/good (grade I or II).* In some clearly identified circumstances, strong recommendations may be made based on lesser evidence when high-quality evidence is impossible to obtain and the anticipated benefits strongly outweigh the harms.
|Conditional statements clearly define a specific situation, while imperative statements are broadly applicable to the target population without restraints on their pertinence. More specifically, a conditional recommendation can be stated in if/then terminology (e.g., If an individual does not eat food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, then 1g of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be recommended for secondary prevention).
|Imperative recommendations "require," or "must," or "should achieve certain goals," but do not contain conditional text that would limit their applicability to specified circumstances. (e.g., Portion control should be included as part of a comprehensive weight management program. Portion control at meals and snacks results in reduced energy intake and weight loss).