Background: Several clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), consensus statements, and recommendations currently exist for the diagnosis and management of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP). These documents have considerable variability amongst them, and to date, their quality and methodologic rigor have not been appraised. Aim: We aim to identify and perform a quality appraisal of CPGs for the diagnosis and management of BTcP using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed in MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, and SCOPUS databases up until January 1, 2021. Four reviewers independently evaluated each guideline using the AGREE II instrument. Scaled domain scores were generated and the threshold used for satisfactory quality was >60%. Additionally, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated to determine level of agreement between reviewers. Results: Eleven guidelines were selected for final evaluation based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Only one guideline was classified of “average” quality while the rest were classified as “low” quality. The “Editorial Independence” (70.46 ± 35.7) and “Scope and Purpose” (64.78 ± 12.5) domains received the highest mean scores, while the “Applicability” (32.58 ± 13.5) and “Rigor of Development” (35.04 ± 9.0) domains received the lowest mean scores. ICC statistical analysis showed high magnitude of agreement between reviewers with a range of (0.790-0.988). Conclusions: Reflecting upon our quality appraisal, it is evident that the quality and methodologic rigor of BTcP guidelines can be improved upon in the future. Our findings also elucidate the existing variability/discrepancies among guidelines in diagnostic criteria and management of BTcP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing