Guidelines, guidelines and more guidelines for haemorrhoid treatment: A review to sort the wheat from the chaff

Colorectal Dis. 2022 Jun;24(6):764-772. doi: 10.1111/codi.16078. Epub 2022 Mar 2.


Aim: Guidelines benefit patients and clinicians by distilling evidence into easy-to-read recommendations. The literature around the management of haemorrhoids is immense and guidelines are invaluable to improve treatment integrity and patient outcomes. We identified current haemorrhoid guidelines and assessed them for quality and consistency.

Methods: A systematic search of the literature from January 2011 to October 2021 was carried out. Guidelines identified were assessed for quality using the AGREE II instrument and for consistency in terms of tabulated treatment recommendations.

Results: During this period nine guidelines were identified worldwide. The general quality was poor with only one guideline considered of high enough quality for use. In general, expert selection criteria for guideline development groups were vaguely defined. There were inconsistencies in the interpretation of the published evidence leading to variation in treatment recommendations.

Discussion: Fewer, higher quality guidelines, with more consistent results, are needed. Particular attention should be given to defining the selection of experts involved.

Keywords: AGREE II; GRADE; Guidelines; Haemorrhoids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hemorrhoids* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic