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    Despite availability of reliable guidelines development methods, the risk of producing less reliable documents may be higher when the guidelines are developed rapidly. The aim of this study was to assess quality of guidelines on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), developed in the early stages of COVID-19 pandemic and assess if recommendations for pharmacotherapy were supported by evidence. We performed the search for documents, that considered antiviral therapies and contained a recommendations for clinicians. The quality of the guidelines was assessed using the AGREE II-Global Rating Scale Instrument and series of additional criteria. The analysis included 40 publications. The median of quality of documents assessed with the AGREE II-GRS tool was 2.0 (interquartile range 1.5-2.5). Most documents did not fulfill the rigour of guideline development quality criteria. The AGREE II-GRS scores did not differ significantly across the type of the document, issuing institution and the mode of publication. 75% of documents provided recommendations for the use of antiviral medications despite apparent lack of sufficient evidence supporting such treatments. Of the included documents, 75% were not updated within the 2 months after the publication of the first randomized controlled trial on COVID-19 antiviral therapy. Most guidelines or guidance documents published during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic were of poor quality, contained recommendations for the use of antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection despite only very low quality of evidence available, and were not updated on a regular basis.


    Filip Mejza, Wiktoria Lesniak, Roman Jaeschke. Quality and methodology of clinical practice guidelines on antiviral pharmacotherapy for COVID‑19 during the early phase of the pandemic. Polish archives of internal medicine. 2021 Apr 29;131(4):356-360

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    PMID: 33720638

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