A critical appraisal of evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris: 'AGREE-ing' on a common base for European evidence-based psoriasis treatment guidelines

A Nast, P H Spuls, A D Ormerod, N Reytan, P H Saiag, C H Smith, B Rzany

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BACKGROUND: To further improve the standard of care provided to psoriasis patients in Europe, the European Dermatology Forum and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology have initiated a project to develop common European psoriasis guidelines. OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to assess the methodological quality and suitability of evidence-based psoriasis guidelines as a base of common European treatment guidelines. METHODS: A systematic literature search of the National Guidelines Clearinghouse, MEDLINE, EMBASE and GIN database for evidence-based psoriasis treatment guidelines published between 2001 and 2007 was performed and the AGREE instrument was used to assess the methodological quality. RESULTS: Out of 166 hits, we identified three evidence-based guidelines. A Dutch guideline that includes systemic treatments and photo(chemo)therapy, a British guideline that includes biologics only, and a German guideline that includes systemic therapy, photo(chemo)therapy and topical therapy. For the majority of the 23 AGREE items assessed, all three guidelines rated high (3-4/4). The highest score was obtained by the British guidelines with 75 points out of 92, followed by the German guidelines with 74 points and the Dutch guidelines with 73 points. All guidelines showed weaknesses in the field of 'applicability'. CONCLUSION: The three guidelines that could be included rated high enough to be considered 'strongly recommended' and were included to serve as a basis for the new common European guidelines. During the development of the European guidelines, special attention should be paid to meet the requirements of good 'applicability'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
JournalJEADV: Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number7
Early online date26 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009



  • dermatologic agents
  • Europe
  • evidence-based medicine
  • humans
  • photochemotherapy
  • practice guidelines as topic
  • psoriasis
  • adaptation
  • AGREE instrument
  • evaluation
  • guidelines

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