Critical appraisal of papers reporting recommendation on sarcopenia using the AGREE II tool: a EuroAIM initiative

Carmelo Messina, Jacopo Antonino Vitale, Luigi Pedone, Vito Chianca, Ilaria Vicentin, Domenico Albano, Salvatore Gitto, Luca Maria Sconfienza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/objectives: The growing interest of medical community about sarcopenia resulted in the production of several clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), with an unavoidable variability in terms of the overall quality of those publications. Our aim is to evaluate the quality of CPGs on sarcopenia using the AGREE II instrument. Subjects/methods: We performed an online literature search for sarcopenia CPGs using different databases. Four independent reviewers evaluated the quality of CPGs using the AGREE II instrument. To classify the quality of each guideline, we defined specific thresholds of final score: high-quality if five or more domains scored >60%; average-quality if three or four domains scored >60%; low-quality if ≤2 domains scored >60%. Results: Our literature search yielded 315 articles, and after applying exclusion criteria our final analysis included 19 CPGs. The overall quality of CPGs was remarkable, as 13/19 (68.4%) were considered of “high-quality” CPGs, with more than four domains reached a score higher than 60%. “Scope and Purpose” and “Clarity of Presentations” had the best domain results (78.4% and 73.8%, respectively), while the two domains with the lowest scores were “Rigor of Development” and “Applicability” (61.5% and 58.7%, respectively). Interobserver variability ranged between moderate (0.624) and fair (0.275). Conclusions: Our study showed that the overall quality of CPGs about sarcopenia was noteworthy, as more than two-third of paper obtained a “high-quality” score. The domain “applicability” had the lowest score, suggesting that emphasis should be put on possible strategies for helping other doctors to implement guideline recommendations in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1172
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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