A systematic review of appraisal tools for clinical practice guidelines: multiple similarities and one common deficit.

TitleA systematic review of appraisal tools for clinical practice guidelines: multiple similarities and one common deficit.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsVlayen J, Aertgeerts B, Hannes K, Sermeus W, Ramaekers D
JournalInternational journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care / ISQua
Volume17
Issue3
Pagination235-42
Date Published2005 Jun
ISSN1353-4505
KeywordsCritical Pathways; Evidence-Based Medicine; Humans; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Reproducibility of Results
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To identify a critical appraisal tool for clinical practice guidelines that could serve as a basis for the development of an appraisal tool for clinical pathways.

DESIGN: Systematic review of the literature and personal contacts. Databases searched were: Medline, Embase, and Cinahl. Search terms were: practice guidelines, appraisal, and evaluation. The items of the identified appraisal tools were examined and thematically grouped into 10 guideline dimensions. Content analysis and scoring of these domains by the appraisal tools was evaluated.

RESULTS: Twenty-four different appraisal tools of practice guidelines were identified. None scored the evidence base of the clinical content of guidelines. Four tools scored all the guideline dimensions. The Cluzeau instrument is the only one of these four that has been validated. Of the three instruments based on the Cluzeau instrument, the AGREE instrument is the only validated instrument that uses a numerical scale.

CONCLUSIONS: Being a simplified version of the Cluzeau instrument, the AGREE instrument has the most potential to serve as a basis for the development of an appraisal tool for clinical pathways. However, important limitations will have to be dealt with when developing such a tool.

DOI10.1093/intqhc/mzi027
Alternate JournalInt J Qual Health Care