Critical appraisal of clinical practice guidelines in pediatric infectious diseases
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Background There is a need to critically appraise clinical practice guidelines in order to ensure safe and effective practices are being implemented to optimize patient care. Appraising guidelines within one therapeutic area enable recommendations for improvement during guideline creation and dissemination. Objectives Study objectives were to systematically appraise selected published guidelines used in the treatment of pediatric infectious diseases and to make recommendations for improvement throughout the development and dissemination processes. Setting The study occurred between collaborative academic and practice-based institutions located in Canada and Qatar. Methods A literature search identified guidelines for management of pediatric infectious diseases from 1997 to 2013. Each guideline was appraised by four independent assessors, according to the appraisal of guidelines for research and evaluation II (AGREE II) instrument. Standardized domain scores were calculated for each guideline and pooled. Final endorsements for use in clinical practice were also determined. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients. Main outcome measure Standardized domain scores according to the AGREE II instrument. Results Twenty guidelines met inclusion criteria and were appraised. Pooled domain scores were: scope and purpose (69.9), stakeholder involvement (40.1), rigour of development (47.1), clarity of presentation (73.4), applicability (23.7), editorial independence (46.7), and overall assessment (55.8). Two (10 %) guidelines were recommended for use without revision, 13 (65 %) guidelines were recommended with modifications, and 5 (25 %) guidelines were not recommended for implementation into practice. Inter-rater reliability was moderate to good with intra-class correlations of 0.65–0.93 per guideline. Conclusion The majority of appraised guidelines were moderately rated, with a 25 % of guidelines not recommended for use. Strategies for improvement require the involvement of all key stakeholders (caregivers, patients, and allied health professionals), and consideration of facilitators, barriers and resource implications during implementation. Additionally, critical appraisal of guidelines should become standard practice prior to adoption into clinical settings.
KeywordsChildren Clinical practice guidelines Decision making Evidence-based medicine
This study was funded by a Qatar University Internal Grant (QUUG-CPH-CPH-12/12-3).
Conflicts of interest
The authors report no conflicts of interest to declare.
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