Appraisal of guidelines for androgenetic alopecia using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II instrument

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Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives

The purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the quality of methodological guidelines for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument by searching and analysing the available worldwide guidelines. This could provide a reference for selecting clinical guidelines and for developing new guidelines in the future.

Methods

We searched PubMed and other electronic databases for any AGA guidelines published until 2014. The AGREE II instrument was used by two researchers to create a systematic appraisal in six domains to determine the guidelines fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results

Five guidelines associated with the therapy of AGA were identified. The mean scores for the six AGREE II domains were as follows: 89.45% for ‘scope and purpose’, 53.88% for ‘stakeholder involvement’, 53.96% for ‘rigour of development’, 87.22% for ‘clarity of presentation’, 42.92% for ‘applicability’ and 59.16% for ‘editorial independence’. The European guideline ranked the highest, whereas the American guideline of 1996 ranked the lowest. The Asian, European and Japanese guidelines were strongly recommended, and the two from America were recommended with modifications.

Conclusions

Guidelines should provide accurate and evidence-based recommendations. The AGREE II instrument is a useful tool to improve the quality of guidelines, and high-quality guidelines for clinical practice can be provided by using it.

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