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Brain Inj. 2011;25(7-8):742-51. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2011.580317. Epub 2011 May 23.

Quality of clinical practice guidelines for persons who have sustained mild traumatic brain injury.

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Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



Mild TBI is one of the most common neurological disorders occurring today. For individuals who experience persistent symptoms following mild TBI, consequences can include functional disability, stress and time away from one's occupation. The objective of the study was to evaluate the quality of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) that include recommendations on the care of persons who have sustained mild TBI and associated persistent symptoms.


A minimum of four appraisers used the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument to evaluate seven CPGs found via a systematic search of bibliographic databases and internet resources.


High AGREE scores were obtained for the domains Scope and Purpose and Clarity and Presentation. The CPGs fared less well on Rigour of Development, Stakeholder Involvement, Editorial Independence and Applicability. The number of recommendations addressing the care of persistent symptoms following mild TBI was meager, with the exception of military guidelines.


There is considerable variability in the quality of guidelines addressing mild TBI and, overall, the CPGs reviewed score lower on Rigour of Development than CPGs for other medical conditions. There is a clear need for clinical guidance on the management of individuals who experience persistent symptoms following mild TBI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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