The quality of a guideline 

The quality of a guideline (and essentially the recommendations it contains) can only be as good as the work and the effort that was put into it, when it was being constructed.

A high quality guideline contains the following items:

  1. Systematic methods were used to search for evidence.
  2. The criteria for selecting the evidence are clearly described.
  3. The strengths and limitations of the body of evidence are clearly described.
  4. The methods for formulating the recommendations are clearly described.
  5. The health benefits, side effects, and risks have been considered in formulating
    the recommendations.
  6. There is an explicit link between the recommendations and the supporting
    evidence.
  7. The guideline has been externally reviewed by experts prior to its publication.
  8. A procedure for updating the guideline is provided.

Checking if all these items are included in your particular guideline might seem as a lot of work, so how practically to do it?: Use the AGREE II tool.

This tool was created by My AGREE plus, and is an online tool that helps you walk through all the different elements that you need to consider, including the items mentioned above. Read more about it and see videos on how it is done her.

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