Inconsistencies in clinical guidelines for obstetric anaesthesia for Caesarean section: a comparison of the Danish, English, American, and German guidelines with regard to developmental quality and guideline content.

Acta anaesthesiologica Scandinavica

PubMedID: 23136833

Winther LP, Mitchell AU, Møller AM. Inconsistencies in clinical guidelines for obstetric anaesthesia for Caesarean section: a comparison of the Danish, English, American, and German guidelines with regard to developmental quality and guideline content. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013;57(2):141-9.
BACKGROUND
Anaesthetists need evidence-based clinical guidelines, also in obstetric anaesthesia. We compared the Danish, English, American, and German national guidelines for anaesthesia for Caesarean section. We focused on assessing the quality of guideline development and evaluation of the guidelines' content.

METHODS
We compared the four countries' guideline developmental quality by using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument, an international tool for development and assessment of guidelines. The clinically important content of these countries' guidelines was compared.

RESULTS
We found differences in the quality of guideline development in the four countries. The German guidelines scored very low in the AGREE analysis, and the Danish national guideline scored low in the AGREE analysis. The American and British guideline both achieved high scores in the AGREE analysis. We found differences in the content of the four countries' guidelines. The Danish, American, and British guidelines were comprehensive but with some variation in the content.

CONCLUSION
Development of national guidelines might benefit from following standardised regulations, such as those used in the AGREE tool. Content of guidelines is not standardised. Recommendations for the content of guidelines might contribute to standardising clinical guidelines.