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Level of Evidence of Guidelines for Perioperative Management of Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea: An Evaluation Using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II Tool

July 27, 2023

Currently, the quality of guidelines for the perioperative management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is unknown, leaving anesthesiologists to make perioperative management decisions with some degree of uncertainty. This study evaluated the quality of clinical practice guidelines regarding the perioperative management of patients with OSA. This study was reported in compliance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A system- atic search of the MedlineALL (Ovid) database was conducted from inception to February 26, 2021, for clinical practice guidelines in the English language. Quality appraisal of guidelines was evaluated using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) framework. Descriptive statistical analysis of each of the 6 domains was expressed as a percentage using the formula: (obtained score – minimum possible score)/(maximum possible score – minimum possible score). Of 192 articles identi- fied in the search, 41 full texts were assessed for eligibility, and 10 articles were included in this review. Intraclass correlation coefficients of the AGREE II scores across the 7 evaluators for each guideline were each >0.9, suggesting that the consistency of the scores among evaluators was high. Sixty percent of recommendations were based on evidence using validated methods to grade medical literature, while the remainder were consensus based. The median and range scores of each domain were: (1) scope and purpose, 88% (60%–95%); (2) stakeholder involvement, 52% (30%–82%); (3) rigor of development, 67% (40%–90%); (4) clarity of presentation, 74% (57%–88%); (5) applicability, 46% (20%–73%); and (6) editorial independence, 67% (19%–83%). Only 4 guidelines achieved an overall score of >70%. This criti- cal appraisal showed that many clinical practice guidelines for perioperative management of patients with OSA used validated methods to grade medical literature, such as Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) and Oxford classification, with lower scores for stakeholder involvement due to lack of engagement of patient partners and applicability domain due to lack of focus on the complete perioperative period such as postdischarge counseling. Future efforts should be directed toward establishing higher focus on the quality of evidence, stakeholder involvement, and applicability to the wider perioperative patient experience. (Anesth Analg 2023;136:262–9)