A review of quality assessment of the methodology used in guidelines and systematic reviews on oral mucositis
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to identify and to assess the quality of evidence-based guidelines and systematic reviews we used in the case of oral mucositis, to apply general quality criteria for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis in patients receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both.
Literature searches were carried out in several electronic databases and websites. Publications were included if they concerned oral mucositis involving adults treated for cancer and had been published after 1 January 2000. As far as systematic reviews were concerned, the article had to report a search strategy, if the search was minimally conducted in the database PubMed or Medline and the articles included in the review were subjected to some kind of methodological assessment. The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Education (AGREE) instrument was used to assess the quality of the guidelines and the Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ) was used for the quality of systematic reviews.
Thirty-one articles met the inclusion criteria of which 11 were guidelines and 20 were systematic reviews. Nine of the 11 guidelines did not explicitly describe how they identified, selected and summarised the available evidence. Reviews suffered from lack of clarity, for instance, in performing a thorough literature search. The quality varied among the different guidelines and reviews.
Most guidelines and systematic reviews had serious methodological flaws.
There is a need to improve the methodological quality of guidelines and systematic reviews for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis if they are to be used in clinical practice.
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ABSTRACT: Oral mucositis (OM) is a very frequent and potentially severe complication experienced by patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, which often leads to significant morbidity and mortality, and decreased quality of life, and is very costly. Despite its severity and prevalence, there is no standard recognised management today. The aim of this open clinical trial is to evaluate the efficacy and compliance of a new spray compound containing sodium hyaluronate (SH) and a pool of collagen precursor amino acids (AAs) combined with sodium hyaluronate (SH) to manage radio/chemotherapy-induced OM. Twenty-seven consecutive patients with OM were treated according to the manufacturers instructions. At time T0 (baseline before intervention), we evaluated the following parameters: (i) pain score (by linear visual analogue scale; 0100) and (ii) severity of OM scored according to WHO Mucositis scale. The treatment efficacy was evaluated on i) pain score, ii) clinical resolution index (CRI) and iii) patient compliance at times T01 (after 2 hours), T1 (after 24 hours), T2 (after 72 hours), T3 (after 7 days) and T4 (after 14 days). Results showed that painful symptoms were significantly reduced after only 2 hours of spray administration compared with baseline measurements (p less than 0.0001; z=-4.541). A progressive reduction of pain through the 2 weeks was also noted (p less than 0.0001). Patient lesions treated with SH-Asbased spray also significantly improved after 72 hours of treatment (p=0.0051; z=-2.803). During the two-week observation, all patients significantly improved from the baseline (p less than 0.0001) and progressively ameliorated their ability to swallow foods and liquids. The compliance of all patients to the product was very good, and at the end of the study there were no adverse effects. The results suggest that the SHAAs-based spray accelerates lesion healing and above all helps to manage mucositis pain, especially in terms of immediate pain relief (after 2 hours from application). Although further randomized controlled studies are recommended, our findings suggest that frequent applications of this spray may offer rapid and effective pain management, aiding faster mucosal wound healing.International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 23(1):143-51. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the quality of guidelines, consensus statements and systematic reviews on flu and pneumococcal immunisations in HIV-infected children. The authors screened PubMed and Embase databases until the year 2009 for guidelines, consensus statements and systematic reviews on flu and pneumococcal immunisations in HIV-infected patients. The authors also explored relevant websites of agencies/institutions involved with HIV infection, immunisation or guidelines. The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation instrument and the checklists of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network were used to evaluate the scientific quality of guidelines and systematic reviews. Eighteen articles were identified. Only one guideline was of good overall quality. Generally the weakest domains were 'Applicability' and 'Editorial Independence.' Although of poor methodological quality, the main recommendations on flu and pneumococcus vaccinations were similar. There were minor differences in the type of pneumococcal vaccines in relation to patient's age, namely based on the settings in which recommendations were produced. Although guidelines and systematic reviews on flu and pneumococcal vaccination in HIV-infected children came from authoritative institutions, their overall quality is poor, with the weakest fields being the methodological domains.BMJ quality & safety 02/2011; 20(5):432-9. DOI:10.1136/bmjqs.2010.047316 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the quality of clinical practice guidelines providing recommendations on the frequency of mammography screening in asymptomatic, average-risk women 40-49 years of age. We searched the National Guideline Clearinghouse and MEDLINE for guidelines published from 2005 to 2010. Five independent assessors rated the quality of each guideline and its underlying evidence review using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) and Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) instruments, respectively. Eleven guidelines were appraised. Ten referenced an underlying evidence review; two referenced the same review. Three reviews were rated good, one was moderate, and five were rated poor quality. On overall assessment of the quality of the guidelines, two were strongly recommended, two were recommended with provisos, and seven were either not recommended or the assessors were unsure whether to recommend it. Most guidelines clearly presented their recommendations, but the rigor of development, applicability, and stakeholder involvement varied. Seven guidelines recommended mammography screening as part of a periodic health examination and four recommended individualized screening in the target population. The latter four guidelines were based on good-quality reviews and three were recommended by the assessors. Guideline users need to be aware of the variability in quality and identify the high-quality guidelines that meet their needs.Journal of clinical epidemiology 03/2011; 64(9):968-76. DOI:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.12.005 · 5.48 Impact Factor