Int J Oral Implantol 2 (2009), No. 2 2. July 2009
Purpose: To appraise the reported processes involved in the development of published dental guidelines. Materials and methods: Electronic databases were searched to identify guidelines making recommendations for any health professional within dentistry. All included guidelines were appraised using the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument.
Results: A total of 105 guidelines met the inclusion criteria. The appraised guidelines showed lack of rigour in their development (median score 14.3%; range 0% to 100%). Only 10 (9.5%) were coded as 'strongly recommend' by at least two assessors.
Conclusion: If recommendations within clinical guidelines are to be relied upon, the methods used in their development must be explicit and free from bias. When using the AGREE checklist to make decisions on whether or not to implement individual sets of guidelines, the findings of the present assessment reinforce the need for more than two assessors to be included in the appraisal of each set of guidelines.