Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Characteristics and quality of clinical practice guidelines for diabetic kidney disease: a systematic review.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the quality of Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in the context of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and determine whether any factors affect the quality.

METHODS: We searched eight databases along with five international and national organizations to develop or archive guidelines from their inception to July 2023, with an additional search of medlive.cn. And the authoritative organizations related to nephrology. CPGs and consensus statements created using direct differential diagnosis or therapy for DKD were included without language restrictions. Their quality was evaluated by four reviewers using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation Ⅱ (AGREE Ⅱ) instrument. Along with the item and domain scores, the guideline was also allocated an overall quality score, which ranged from 1 (lowest possible quality) to 7 (highest possible quality). Moreover, an overall recommendation for use was also assigned ("recommended", "recommended with modifications" or "not recommended").

RESULTS: A total of 16 CPGs were included, of which 14 were from Asia and the remaining two from Europe. These two CPGs were updated in the third version. Six CPGs were recommended for use because their primary domains scored in the medium or high category. Furthermore, five CPGs were recommended with modifications as the stakeholder involvement, applicability, and editorial independence domains were evaluated as low categories. In all domains, the lowest average score was for rigour of development (33%), followed by application (36%), and stakeholder involvement (51%). The highest average score was for scope and purpose (79%), followed by clarity of presentation (75%). None of the CPGs considered the patient's viewpoint, and six of 16 CPGs did not use any grading system to translate the evidence into recommendations. Additionally, only three of 16 CPGs shared search strategy, and eight of 16 CPGs did not declare a funding source.

CONCLUSIONS: According to the AGREE II evaluation, more than one in four CPGs for DKD had poor methodological quality. Enhanced efforts are needed to advance the rigour of development, application, and editorial independence of DKD guideline panels for most guidelines. Stakeholders, CPG developers, and CPG users should consider methodological quality while choosing CPGs, and interpret and implement their issued suggestions.

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