Towards high-quality, useful practice guidelines for child and youth mental health disorders: protocol for a systematic review and consensus exercise Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IntroductionThe quality of clinical practice guidelines (PGs) has not been evaluated in child and youth mental health (CYMH). To address this gap, we will: (1) conduct a systematic review (SR) to answer the question ‘among eligible PGs relevant to the prevention or treatment of CYMH conditions, which PGs meet criteria for minimum and high quality?’; (2) apply nominal group methods to create recommendations for how CYMH PG quality, completeness and usefulness can be strengthened.Methods and analysisSR: Potentially eligible PGs will be identified in 12 databases using a reproducible search strategy developed by a research librarian. Trained raters will: (1) apply prespecified criteria to identify eligible PGs relevant to depression, anxiety, suicidality, bipolar disorder, behaviour disorder (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder) and substance use disorder; (2) extract descriptive data and (3) assess PG quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool. Scores on three AGREE II domains (rigour of development, stakeholder involvement, editorial independence) will designate PGs as minimum (≥50%) or high quality (≥70%). Nominal group: Four CYMH PG knowledge user groups (clinicians, mental health service planners, youth and adult family members) will participate in structured exercises derived using nominal group methods to generate recommendations to improve PG quality, completeness and usefulness.Ethics and disseminationEthics approval is not required. Study products will be disseminated as follows. A cross-platform website will house eligible CYMH PGs and their quality ratings. Twitter and Facebook tools will promote it to a wide variety of PG users. Data from Google Analytics, Twitonomy and Altmetrics will inform usage evaluation. Complementary educational workshops will be conducted for CYMH professionals. Print materials and journal articles will be produced.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42017060738.


  • Bennett, Kathryn Jane
  • Duda, Stephanie
  • Brouwers, Melissa
  • Szatmari, Peter
  • Newton, Amanda
  • McLennan, John
  • Sundar, Purnima
  • Cleverley, Kristin
  • Charach, Alice
  • Henderson, Joanna
  • Courtney, Darren
  • Rice, Maureen

publication date

  • February 2018