The guideline panel should include all stakeholders affected by the content of the guideline. These may be other than surgical and interventional specialists, such as primary care physicians, nurses, and physiotherapists.
For example, a guideline on robotic colorectal surgery might involve general and colorectal surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, pathologists, nurses, healthcare economists, surgical technology specialists, and patient representatives. Patient representatives or patient advocates should participate as ordinary panel members, with equal contribution and voting rights from the start of the guideline development process. The involvement of patient representatives might not always be feasible, for example in a guideline on orthopedic surgery in the octogenarians. On such occasions, patient advocacy groups or representatives of caregiver support groups might need to be involved. Guideline development (or adaption) groups should aim for at least two representatives from each stakeholders’ group. Particular care should be given to avoid the over- or underrepresentation of stakeholders, depending on the topic of the guideline.
Furthermore, the guideline development process should be supported from a diverse group of people, such as experts in evidence outreach (e.g., health information specialists), evidence synthesis (e.g., statisticians, methodologists), and health economists. Individual roles and tasks should be specific and defined at the outset.