The quality of web-based oncology guidelines and protocols: How do international sites stack up

Langton, J. M., Drew, A. K., Mellish, L., Olivier, J., Ward, R. L. and Pearson, S-A (2011) The quality of web-based oncology guidelines and protocols: How do international sites stack up. British Journal of Cancer, 105 8: 1166-1172. doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.378

Author Langton, J. M.
Drew, A. K.
Mellish, L.
Olivier, J.
Ward, R. L.
Pearson, S-A
Title The quality of web-based oncology guidelines and protocols: How do international sites stack up
Journal name British Journal of Cancer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0007-0920
Publication date 2011-10-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/bjc.2011.378
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 105
Issue 8
Start page 1166
End page 1172
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Abstract Background: The Internet is a popular medium for disseminating information relevant to oncology practitioners. Despite the widespread use of web-based guidelines and protocols, the quality of these resources has not been evaluated. This study addresses this gap. Methods: The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE-II) instrument was used to assess the quality of breast and sarcoma guidelines and protocols according to six independent domains. The oncology resources were selected from eight websites developed for healthcare settings in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia. Results: Mean quality scores across domains were highly variable for both guidelines (29-73%) and protocols (31-71%). Guidelines scored highly in terms of articulating their Scope and Purpose (72.6±11.2%) but poorly with respect to Applicability in clinical practice (29.0±17.3%). Protocols scored highly on Clarity of Presentation (70.6±17.6%) but poorly in terms of the processes used to synthesise underlying evidence, develop, and update recommendations (30.8±20.0%). Conclusion: Our evaluation provides a quick reference tool for clinicians about the strengths and limitations of oncology resources across several major websites. Further, it supports resource developers in terms of where to direct efforts to enhance guideline and protocol development processes or the communication of these processes to end-users.
Keyword Chemotherapy
Clinical protocol
Computer assisted
Decision making
Medical oncology
Practice guideline
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Office of the Vice-Chancellor
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