Clinical practice guidelines can improve healthcare processes and patient outcomes, but are often of low quality. Guideline appraisal tools aim to help potential guideline users in assessing guideline quality. We conducted a systematic review of publications describing guideline appraisal tools in order to identify and compare existing tools.
Among others we searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from 1995 to May 2011 for relevant primary and secondary publications. We also handsearched the reference lists of relevant publications.
On the basis of the available literature we firstly generated 34 items to be used in the comparison of appraisal tools and grouped them into thirteen quality dimensions. We then extracted formal characteristics as well as questions and statements of the appraisal tools and assigned them to the items. Read More