A Comparison of AGREE and RIGHT: which Clinical Practice Guideline Reporting Checklist Should Be Followed by Guideline Developers?
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BACKGROUND: A clinical practice guideline (CPG) reporting checklist is used to assist CPG developers in recording what content should be provided in a CPG report. Recently, two checklists have become available on the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research Network website: AGREE (Appraisal of Guidelines, Research and Evaluation) published in 2016 and RIGHT (Reporting Items for practice Guidelines in HealThcare) published in 2017. The objective of this study was to describe the advantages and disadvantages of these two CPG reporting checklists. METHODS: Two epidemiologists who lacked experience using both AGREE and RIGHT but were familiar with evidence-based medicine methodology independently compared AGREE with RIGHT on an item-by-item basis. Their assessments were compiled on a pre-designed data form and any disagreements were resolved through discussion. Three other co-authors independently compared AGREE with RIGHT and decided if they agreed with the results of comparison of the two CPG reporting checklists from the first two co-authors. Finally, another co-author reviewed the comparison results to ensure that the description was clear and understandable. RESULTS: The following six relationships between the two checklists were observed: (1) 11 items from AGREE completely matched with 12 items from RIGHT; (2) four items were listed in AGREE only; (3) 12 items were listed in RIGHT only; (4) three items in AGREE were partially covered by three items in RIGHT; (5) six items in RIGHT were partially covered by three items in AGREE; and (6) two items intersected across AGREE and RIGHT. Based on the comparison results, the potential impact analysis of selecting either checklist is described. DISCUSSION: We recommend that CPG developers use either AGREE plus items unique to RIGHT or RIGHT plus items unique to AGREE.
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