Table 1

Basic characteristics of guidelines reviewed (n=626)*

Year of publication
 1988–19929
 1993–1997102
 1998–2002291
 2003–2007206
Continent of published guidelines
 Europe264
 North America264
 Australia/New Zealand36
 Asia12
 South America14
 Africa6
 International29
Type of organisation responsible for guideline
 Government121
 Medical society373
 International20
 Research institute84
 Other6
Healthcare topic
 Internal medicine/critical care/geriatrics173
 Oncology127
 Obstetrics and gynaecology28
 Psychiatry50
 Paediatrics46
 Musculoskeletal136
 Opthalmology7
 Dentistry1
 Occupational medicine22
 Other30
  • * The total number in each category is not 626, due to missing data.