BACKGROUND Without adequate reporting of research, valuable time and resources are wasted . In the same vein, adequate reporting of practice guidelines to optimise patient care is equally important . Our study examines the quality of reporting of published WHO guidelines, over time, using the RIGHT (Reporting Items for Practice Guidelines in HealThcare) reporting checklist .
METHODS We examined English-language guidelines approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee from inception of the committee in 2007 until 31 December 2017 . Pairs of independent, trained reviewers assessed the reporting quality of these guidelines . Descriptive data were summarised with frequencies and percentages .
RESULTS We included 182 eligible guidelines . Overall , 25 out of the 34 RIGHT items were reported in 75% or more of the WHO guidelines . The reporting rates improved over time . Further , 90% of the guidelines reported document type in the title . The identification of evidence, the rationale for recommendations and the review process were reported in more than 80% of guidelines . The certainty of the evidence using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was assessed in 81% of the guidelines assessed . While 82% of guidelines reported funding sources, only 25% mentioned the role of funders .
CONCLUSIONS WHO guidelines provide adequate reporting of many of the RIGHT items and reporting has improved over time . WHO guidelines compare favourably to guidelines produced by other organisations . However, reporting can be further improved in a number of areas.