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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Massimo GIRARDIS 1, Cosetta CANTARONI 1, Gennaro SAVOIA 2, Rita MELOTTI 3, Giorgio CONTI 4
1 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 2 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Hospital Cardarelli, Naples, Italy; 3 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 4 Anesthesia and Intensive Care Department, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy
BACKGROUND: The management of analgesia and sedation in critically ill patients is still a challenge due to the shortage of evidence-based treatments. The main objectives of the present study were to critically evaluate the quality of current clinical practice guidelines (CPGL) published on this matter and to identify the contrasting positions and unsolved questions.
METHODS: Four members of the Italian Society of Anesthesia and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) council, with an extensive background in the management of critically ill patients and practice guidelines, evaluated CPGL on sedation and analgesia in critically ill patients published from January 2006 to December 2013. Evaluation was performed in accordance with the appraisal of guidelines for research and evaluation tool (AGREE II).
RESULTS: Five documents proposed by European and American scientific societies of critical care medicine were identified and evaluated. The CPGL published in 2013 by the American Society of Critical Care Medicine showed the highest scores in all domains of the AGREE II tool, whereas scores for CPGL published in 2006 by SIAARTI showed the lowest scores. In all documents, most recommendations on the use of drugs or non-pharmacological strategies for analgesia, sedation and delirium treatment had low evidence.
CONCLUSIONS: This quality evaluation indicated that CPGLs published by the German Association of Scientific Medical Societies, the American College of Critical Care Medicine and the PanAmerican and Iberica Federation of the Critical Care Medicine Societies should be recommended for use. Even in guidelines with a high quality rating, numerous recommendations have moderate or low levels of evidence.