An Analysis of the Evidence Underpinning the American Urologic Association Clinical Practice Guidelines

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Objective: To evaluate the reporting quality of systematic reviews (SRs) underpinning the American Urologic Association (AUA) clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). 

Methods: We searched the AUA for CPGs from 2015–2021. We extracted all SRs from the reference sections and two independent investigators evaluated eligible SR/meta-analysis using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Instrument for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) and AMSTAR-2 (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2) instruments. We compared SRs conducted by the Cochrane group to non-Cochrane SRs using a Mann-Whitney test. A multivariate regression was used to compare study characteristics. 

Results: Eighteen CPG's met inclusion criteria. We extracted 120 unique SRs, which accounted for 5.1% (n = 120/2346) of all citations. Mean percent adherence to PRISMA and AMSTAR-2 was 65.4% –d 55.2% respectively. SRs conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration scored higher on AMSTAR-2 compared to non-Cochrane (z = -4.41, P <.01) and a positive correlation between PRISMA and AMSTAR-2 scores (r = 0.56, P <.001) was determined. 

Conclusion: Our study indicated the quality of SRs used to develop AUA CPGs across both PRISMA and AMSTAR-2 was variable. Despite higher evaluations, Cochrane SRs accounted for less than 15% of SRs underpinning CPG recommendations. Given the importance placed on CPGs within clinical practice, we recommended a synergistic relationship between the AUA and the Cochrane Collaboration to increase the number of quality urologic SRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Mar 2022


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