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The overall goal of a guideline is to improve medical care. To achieve this goal it needs to be built on scientifically proven systematic evidence-based data. On the other hand, its legitimacy for implementation has to be ensured by a representative guideline developer group and a structured consensus building approach (1). Consequently, when preparing this guideline we did not stop at collecting relevant studies, but also critically evaluated their validity, taking into consideration both the methodical aspects and their practical value for the German health system. The recommendations were laid down after discussions with representatives of the 23 professional societies and associations involved. Some of the arguments and concerns raised in the correspondence were also raised in the guideline panel. To some critical questions, the answers could not be found based on evidence, either because no relevant studies were available or the available studies were not sufficiently valid. Thus, the recommendations are based on the current state of research and the clinical consensus reached by the panel members. In the long version of the guideline (2), the recommendations are discussed in more detail.

The work on the guidelines is far from being completed. Some important tasks, such as preparing a version that a lay person will understand, distributing the guideline, and collecting important user feedback, are only starting now. At the same time, efforts should be made to prompt the conduction of more valid, clinically relevant studies free of any conflict of interest. Moreover, it would be desirable to extend the guideline to include recommendations for the diagnosis of depressive disorders in children and adolescents which could not be addressed before. We look forward to a critical dialogue to ensure continuous improvement of the guideline. The next update of this guideline should be completed by June 2018.

DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0330c

Prof. Dr. med. Gerd Schulte-Körne

Dr. hum. Biol. Kathrin Krick

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics,
and Psychotherapy

Hospital of the University of Munich

Gerd.Schulte-Koerne@med.uni-muenchen.de

Conflict of interest statement
The authors of all contributions declare that no conflict of interest exists.

1.
Selbmann HK, Kopp IB: Leitlinien im Gesundheitswesen: Kompetenzen und Zuständigkeiten der AWMF. Forum DKG 2006; 5: 5–8.
2.
Dolle K, Schulte-Körne G: The treatment of depressive disorders in children and adolescents. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110: 854–60. VOLLTEXT
1.Selbmann HK, Kopp IB: Leitlinien im Gesundheitswesen: Kompetenzen und Zuständigkeiten der AWMF. Forum DKG 2006; 5: 5–8.
2.Dolle K, Schulte-Körne G: The treatment of depressive disorders in children and adolescents. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110: 854–60. VOLLTEXT

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