The production of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) has grown in the past years. Notwithstanding, the quality of these documents and their recommendations for the treatment of schizophrenia in children and adolescents is still unknown.
To assess the quality of the guidelines and recommendations for the treatment of schizophrenia in this population.
CPGs from 2004 to December 2020 were identified through a systematic search on EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, Epistemonikos, VHL, Global Index Medicus and specific CPG databases. The CPGs’ quality was independently assessed by three reviewers using AGREE II and they were considered of high quality if they scored ≥60% in domains 3 and 6. The evidence classification systems were described, the quality of recommendations was assessed in pairs using AGREE-REX and the recommendations were compared.
The database search retrieved 3182 results; 2030 were screened and 29 were selected for full-text reading. Four guidelines were selected for extraction. Two CPGs were considered of high quality in the AGREE II assessment. We described the commonly agreed recommendations for each treatment phase. The pharmacological recommendations were described in all treatment phases. Scores of AGREE-REX were lower for psychosocial recommendations.
There are still few clinical studies and CPGs regarding schizophrenia in children and adolescents. The quality of the documents was overall low, and the quality of the recommendations report has much to improve. There is also a lack of transparency about the quality of the evidence and the strength of the recommendations.
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