The CTFPHC Newsletter Issue 10

The CTFPHC Newsletter Issue 10

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The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) is composed of experts who develop recommendations for clinical preventive services delivered by Canadian primary care practitioners. The CTFPHC is responsible for prioritizing the topics that will be reviewed and works with the Global Health and Guidelines Division (GHGD) of the Public Health Agency of Canada to define the analytic framework and scope of each topic. In the preparation of evidence reviews and the development of recommendations for each topic, the CTFPHC collaborates with two evidence review and synthesis centres and the GHGD. The CTFPHC also leads knowledge translation (KT) activities to promote guideline reach and uptake.

Message From the Chair

Greetings! In this issue, I am pleased to announce that the CTFPHC will attend two upcoming conferences: Congrès annuel de médecine in October 2016 and Family Medicine Forum in November 2016. We look forward to connecting with practitioners at these events.

We also have several upcoming guidelines, including screening for hepatitis C, tobacco smoking prevention and cessation in children and adolescents, and screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm, to be released in 2017.

As always, we appreciate your interest in the CTFPHC, and we encourage you to stay up to date on our work by visiting our website at

Marcello Tonelli, MD SM


Attending key conferences is an important component of the CTFPHC’s strategy for ensuring that practitioners have direct access to our clinical practice guidelines, KT tools, and other resources. The CTFPHC recently attended the Canadian Nursing Association (CNA) conference from June 20 to 23, 2016, and we look forward to connecting with additional clinicians at the Congrès annuel de médecine and Family Medicine Forum in the fall.

CNA 2016 Conference
Saint John, New Brunswick
June 20 – 22, 2016

The CTFPHC exhibited at the 2016 CNA Biennial Convention from June 20 to June 23 in Saint John, New Brunswick. The CNA represents over 139,000 registered nurses (RNs) across Canada. This year’s CNA conference showcased how RNs are working to implement primary health care in Canada and featured a number of prominent keynote speakers. The CTFPHC connected with Canadian nurses (particularly those working in primary care settings) to promote awareness of the CTFPHC, distribute materials, and create networks and linkages. For more information about this conference, please visit:

Congrès annuel de médecine
Montreal, Quebec
October 11 – 14, 2016

The CTFPHC will exhibit at the Congrès annuel de médecine from October 11 to October 14, 2016. The conference will be hosted by the Médecins francophones du Canada in Montreal, Quebec. The CTFPHC will also present two brief sessions on the screening for colorectal cancer and screening for lung cancer guidelines. For more information about this conference, please visit:

Family Medicine Forum
Vancouver, British Columbia
November 9–12, 2016

The CTFPHC will also exhibit at Family Medicine Forum from November 10 to November 12, 2016. Hosted by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the conference will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The CTFPHC will also deliver a one-hour session entitled “Using 1000 Person Infographics to Improve Risk Communication with Patients in Preventive Health Screening”. For more information about this conference, please visit:

GRADE Update

The CTFPHC develops its guidelines using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) method. This is an internationally recognized method for evaluating systematic review evidence to develop clinical practice guidelines.

As part of its KT activities, the CTFPHC is conducting a project to identify the best ways to organize and present guideline recommendations and content to Canadian primary care practitioners. Interviews are currently being conducted with primary care practitioners and their feedback will inform how the CTFPHC presents recommendations and guideline information in its guidelines and KT tools.

For more information on how the CTFPHC applies the GRADE method in its guideline development work, visit

GRADE: Question and Answer

In each issue of the CTFPHC newsletter, we will discuss one frequently asked question about GRADE posed by primary care practitioners.

How can a GRADE guideline recommendation be interpreted and/or implemented?

When interpreting a GRADE recommendation for clinical practice, it is important to address a few key factors. For each recommendation, clinicians should consider who the recommendations apply to and the combination of factors that influenced the strength and direction of the recommendation. When implementing a given recommendation, ensure that your patient does not meet the exclusion criteria and confirm that the recommendations apply. We also suggest discussing the potential harms and benefits of screening with your patients and helping them make a clinical decision that aligns with their values and preferences.

Opportunities for Engagement

Patient Engagement in Guideline Development

The CTFPHC now engages patients in its guideline development process. Specifically, the CTFPHC recruits patients to provide input at up to two stages of the process: (1) when outcomes are selected for inclusion in the systematic review protocol that informs the guideline and (2) when the guideline recommendations are developed. The CTFPHC uses feedback provided by patients to guide the search for evidence on the harms and benefits of preventive health care interventions and to develop KT tools to accompany the guidelines.

The CTFPHC is currently engaging patients in Stage 1 for its guidelines on glaucoma and visual acuity, esophageal cancer, fetal aneuploidy, and asymptomatic bacteriuria. We are also engaging patients in Stage 2 for the CTFPHC’s guideline on screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Usability Testing of Practitioner Tools

The CTFPHC produces KT tools to support each of its guidelines. To ensure that the content, layout, navigation, and aesthetics of these tools are appropriate and useful for practice, we conduct usability testing with practitioners. If you are interested in reviewing and providing feedback on one of our upcoming guideline tools, please email Kavitha Thiyagarajah, research assistant, at for more information. Note that we offer $100 compensation for a one-hour telephone interview.

Guidelines in Progress

Forthcoming guidelines developed by the CTFPHC will focus on the following topics:

  • Screening for hepatitis C
  • Tobacco smoking prevention and cessation in children and adolescents
  • Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Screening for glaucoma and visual acuity
  • Screening for esophageal cancer
  • Antenatal screening for fetal aneuploidy
  • Antenatal screening for asymptomatic bacteriuria

Topic Suggestions

Is there a preventive health topic that you would like to see the CTFPHC develop a clinical practice guideline for? Let us know what you are passionate about! We accept topic suggestions on a rolling basis and would love to hear from you. To submit a suggestion, please email us at with the subject line “Topic Suggestions”.

Suggestions for the next newsletter

Is there a subject that you would like to see addressed in the next issue of the CTFPHC newsletter? Let us know what you’d like to see covered! We accept suggestions on a rolling basis. To submit a suggestion, please email Kavitha Thiyagarajah, research assistant, at with the subject line “Newsletter Suggestions”.