A Comparison of AGREE and RIGHT: which Clinical Practice Guideline Reporting Checklist Should Be Followed by Guideline Developers?

  • Xiaomei Yao
  • Jinhui Ma
  • Qi Wang
  • David Kanters
  • Muhammad U. Ali
  • Ivan D. FlorezEmail author
Original Research



A clinical practice guideline (CPG) reporting checklist is used to assist CPG developers in recording what content should be provided in a CPG report. Recently, two checklists have become available on the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research Network website: AGREE (Appraisal of Guidelines, Research and Evaluation) published in 2016 and RIGHT (Reporting Items for practice Guidelines in HealThcare) published in 2017. The objective of this study was to describe the advantages and disadvantages of these two CPG reporting checklists.


Two epidemiologists who lacked experience using both AGREE and RIGHT but were familiar with evidence-based medicine methodology independently compared AGREE with RIGHT on an item-by-item basis. Their assessments were compiled on a pre-designed data form and any disagreements were resolved through discussion. Three other co-authors independently compared AGREE with RIGHT and decided if they agreed with the results of comparison of the two CPG reporting checklists from the first two co-authors. Finally, another co-author reviewed the comparison results to ensure that the description was clear and understandable.


The following six relationships between the two checklists were observed: (1) 11 items from AGREE completely matched with 12 items from RIGHT; (2) four items were listed in AGREE only; (3) 12 items were listed in RIGHT only; (4) three items in AGREE were partially covered by three items in RIGHT; (5) six items in RIGHT were partially covered by three items in AGREE; and (6) two items intersected across AGREE and RIGHT. Based on the comparison results, the potential impact analysis of selecting either checklist is described.


We recommend that CPG developers use either AGREE plus items unique to RIGHT or RIGHT plus items unique to AGREE.


clinical practice guideline reporting checklist AGREE reporting checklist RIGHT reporting checklist EQUATOR Network 


Authors’ contribution

XY and IF designed this study. XY, JM, and IF drafted the first manuscript. All the authors analyzed, interpreted data, and revised and approved the final manuscript version.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

There are no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work. XY and IF are users of AGREE reporting checklist and AGREE II assessment tool. IF is member of the AGREE collaboration. QW is one of the co-authors of the RIGHT reporting checklist publication. Other co-authors have declared no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OncologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and ImpactMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Clinical Practice Guideline Conduction and Evaluation CentreChildren’s Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity of AntioquiaMedellínColombia
  5. 5.Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineUniversity of AntioquiaMedellínColombia

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