Background: Public or patient versions of guidelines (PVGs) are derivative documents that "translate" recommendations and their rationale from clinical guidelines for health professionals into a more easily understandable and usable format for patients and the public. PVGs from different groups and organizations vary considerably in terms of quality of their reporting. In order to address this issue, we aimed to develop a reporting checklist for developers of PVGs and other potential users.
Methods: First, we collected a list of potential items through reviewing a sample of PVGs, existing guidance for developing and reporting PVGs or other similar evidence-based patient tools, as well as qualitative studies on original studies of patients' needs about the content and/or reporting of information in PVGs or similar evidence-based patient tools. Second, we conducted a two-round Delphi consultation to determine the level of consensus on the items to be included in the final reporting checklist. Third, we invited two external reviewers to provide comments on the checklist.
Results: We generated the initial list of 45 reporting items based on a review of a sample of 30 PVGs, four PVG guidance documents, and 46 relevant studies. After the two-round Delphi consultation, we formed a checklist of 17 items grouped under 12 topics for reporting PVGs.
Conclusion: The RIGHT-PVG reporting checklist provides an international consensus on the important criteria for reporting PVGs.
Keywords: Guideline; Public or patient version of guidelines (PVG); Reporting checklist; Reporting quality.