An Appraisal of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diabetic Retinopathy

Am J Med Qual. 2016 Jul;31(4):370-5. doi: 10.1177/1062860615574863. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


The objective is to evaluate the methodological quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS), and Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) for diabetic retinopathy. Four evaluators independently appraised the CPGs using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument, which covers 6 domains (Scope and Purpose, Stakeholder Involvement, Rigor of Development, Clarity of Presentation, Applicability, and Editorial Independence). Scores ranged from 35% to 78% (AAO), 60% to 92% (COS), and 35% to 82% (RCO). Intraclass correlation coefficients for the reliability of mean scores were 0.78, 0.78, and 0.79, respectively. The strongest domains were Scope and Purpose, and Clarity of Presentation (COS). The weakest were Stakeholder Involvement (AAO), Rigor of Development (AAO, RCO), Applicability, and Editorial Independence (RCO). Diabetic retinopathy practice guidelines can be improved by targeting Stakeholder Involvement, Rigor of Development, Applicability, and Editorial Independence.

Keywords: AGREE II; diabetic retinopathy; practice guidelines; quality.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic* / standards
  • Quality Improvement