Evaluation of the Work Loss Data Institute's Official Disability Guidelines

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Abstract

Objective:

The widely used Official Disability Guidelines (ODG®), a utilization review guideline for occupational conditions, has not been independently evaluated recently.

Methods:

We applied the appraisal of guidelines for research and evaluation (AGREE II) and modified a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR) instruments to assess guideline development methods and the quality of supporting systematic reviews. Multidisciplinary experts rated the validity of clinical content for 47 topics.

Results:

The overall AGREE II score was 58% due to a combination of favorable attributes (breadth, clear recommendations, frequent updating, and application tools) and unfavorable attributes (scant input from workers and uncertainty about editorial independence). The modified AMSTAR rating was fair/good due to limited information on methods. Panelists rated clinical content as valid for 41 topics.

Conclusions:

ODG appears to be acceptable to clinicians, but ODG requires greater rigor to keep pace with methodological advances in the field of guideline development.

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