Background Some reports have shown the varying quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), but this aspect has not been explored in the field of dentistry. With a growing number of guidelines in dentistry being published every year, and an increase in dentist’s interest to inform their practice with such documents, it is relevant to learn whether their development process has been appropriate.
Objectives To assess the rigour of development of evidence-based CPG’s in dentistry.
Methods We searched Pubmed, EMBASE, and the National Guideline Clearinghouse among others. We included all evidence-based CPGs with explicit clinical recommendations, published since 2004 in English. Two independent evaluators assessed the guidelines using the “Rigour of development” domain of AGREE II.
Results A total of 73 CPGs were assessed. The mean score of the rigour of development domain across all guidelines was 34.54% (SD=19.18%). The items that scored the lowest were the description of a procedure for updating the guideline and the strengths and limitations of the evidence; whereas the items best rated were the explicit link between the evidence supporting the recommendations and the pondering of benefits, harms and risk for formulating the recommendations.
Discussion CPGs aim to support clinical decision-making, and thus they can impact the quality of health-care. Thus, the rigour in their development is a relevant aspect to consider. There is a lot of room for improvement in this regard in CPGs in dentistry.
Implications for Guideline Developers Guideline developers in dentistry should enhance the methodology when creating new guidelines or updating existing ones.
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