The third part of the project consisted of a Delphi process of stakeholders to inform the development of the extension checklist. We invited professionals from a variety of surgical specialties, representing General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, and Urology; representatives from America, Asia, and low/middle income countries; representatives from the GRADE Working Group, representatives from the Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research (EQUATOR) Network and from the Guidelines International Network (GIN); a surgical journal editor, a guideline implementer, a national authority representative, and a patient representative. Stakeholders were informed about the findings of the previous parts of the project (GAP I and GAP II).
In a round of open-ended questions, participants were surveyed to nominate items that they consider important to be included in the extension checklist. Their responses were grouped, and they were introduced in a Delphi process, together with the findings of GAP I and GAP II. Items that were approved by at least 80% of participants were candidate for inclusion. After two rounds of adaption and modification, 5 new items were nominated for inclusion, 1 AGREE II item was nominated for inclusion after modification, and 4 items were nominated for exclusion from the extension checklist.
In a face-to-face consensus meeting of the steering group, development of the extension checklist was informed by the findings across the three parts of the project.
More details on GAP III can be found in the below publications: