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1.  A Systematic Critical Appraisal of Non-Pharmacological Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95369.
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been developed to summarize evidence about the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and facilitate the uptake of evidence-based knowledge by consumers, health professionals, health administrators and policy makers. The objectives of this review was to assess the quality of CPGS on non-pharmacological management of RA with a standardized and validated instrument - the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool and summarize the key recommendations from these CPGs. Scientific literature databases from 2001 to 2013 were systematically searched and a total of 13 CPGs for RA was identified. Only a minority of AGREE II domains were effectively addressed by the CPGS. Scope and purpose was effectively addressed in 10 out of 13 CPGs, stakeholder involvement in 11 CPGs, rigor of development in 6 CPGs, clarity/presentation in 9 CPGs, editorial independence in 1 CPGs, and applicability in none of the CPGs. The overall quality of the included CPGs according to the 7-point AGREE II scoring system was 4.8±1.04. Patient education/self-management, aerobic, dynamic and stretching exercises were the commonly recommended for the non-pharmacological management of RA by the high-quality CPGs. The general clinical management recommendations tended to be similar among high-quality CPGs. Non-pharmacological management interventions were superficially addressed in more than half of the selected CPGs. CPGs creators should use the AGREE II criteria when developing guidelines. Innovative and effective methods of CPGs implementation to users are needed to ultimately enhance the quality of life of arthritic individuals. In addition, it was difficult to establish between strongly recommended, recommended and weakly recommended, as there is no consensus between the strength of the recommendations between the appraised CPGs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095369
PMCID: PMC4026323  PMID: 24840205
2.  A Systematic Critical Appraisal for Non-Pharmacological Management of Osteoarthritis Using the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation II Instrument 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e82986.
Clinical practice CPGs (CPGs) have been developed to summarize evidence related to the management of osteoarthritis (OA). CPGs facilitate uptake of evidence-based knowledge by consumers, health professionals, health administrators and policy makers. The objectives of the present review were: 1) to assess the quality of the CPGs on non-pharmacological management of OA; using a standardized and validated instrument - the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool - by three pairs of trained appraisers; and 2) to summarize the recommendations based on only high-quality existing CPGs. Scientific literature databases from 2001 to 2013 were systematically searched for the state of evidence, with 17 CPGs for OA being identified. Most CPGs effectively addressed only a minority of AGREE II domains. Scope and purpose was effectively addressed in 10 CPGs on the management of OA, stakeholder involvement in 12 CPGs, rigour of development in 10 CPGs, clarity/presentation in 17 CPGs, editorial independence in 2 CPGs, and applicability in none of the OA CPGs. The overall quality of the included CPGs, according to the 7-point AGREE II scoring system, is 4.8±0.41 for OA. Therapeutic exercises, patient education, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, orthoses and insoles, heat and cryotherapy, patellar tapping, and weight control are commonly recommended for the non-pharmacological management of OA by the high-quality CPGs. The general clinical management recommendations tended to be similar among high-quality CPGs, although interventions addressed varied. Non-pharmacological management interventions were superficially addressed in more than half of the selected CPGs. For CPGs to be standardized uniform creators should use the AGREE II criteria when developing CPGs. Innovative and effective methods of CPG implementation to users are needed to ultimately enhance the quality of life of arthritic individuals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082986
PMCID: PMC3888378  PMID: 24427268
3.  A survey of Canadian regulated complementary and alternative medicine schools about research, evidence-based health care and interprofessional training, as well as continuing education 
Background
While some effort has been made to integrate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information in conventional biomedical training, it is unclear whether regulated Canadian CAM schools’ students are exposed to research activities and continuing education, or whether topics such as evidence-based health care and interprofessional collaboration (IPC) are covered during their training. Since these areas are valued by the biomedical training field, this may help to bridge the attitudinal and communication gaps between these different practices. The aim of this study was to describe the training offered in these areas and gather the perceptions of curriculum/program directors in regulated Canadian CAM schools.
Methods
A two-phase study consisting of an electronic survey and subsequent semi-structured telephone interviews was conducted with curriculum/program (C/P) directors in regulated Canadian CAM schools. Questions assessed the extent of the research, evidence-based health care, IPC training and continuing education, as well as the C/P directors’ perceptions about the training. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the schools’, curriculum’s and the C/P directors’ characteristics. Content analysis was conducted on the interview material.
Results
Twenty-eight C/P directors replied to the electronic survey and 11 participated in the interviews, representing chiropractic, naturopathy, acupuncture and massage therapy schools. Canadian regulated CAM schools offered research and evidence-based health care training as well as opportunities for collaboration with biomedical peers and continuing education to a various extent (58% to 91%). Although directors were generally satisfied with the training offered at their school, they expressed a desire for improvements. They felt future CAM providers should understand research findings and be able to rely on high quality research and to communicate with conventional care providers as well as to engage in continuing education. Limited length of the curriculum was one of the barriers to such improvements.
Conclusions
These findings seem to reinforce the directors’ interest and the importance of integrating these topics in order to ensure best CAM practices and improve communication between CAM and conventional providers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-374
PMCID: PMC3877872  PMID: 24373181
Complementary and alternative medicine; Continuing education; Curriculum development; Evidence-based health care training; Interprofessional training; Research training
4.  Measurement Properties of Questionnaires Assessing Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Pediatrics: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39611.
Objective
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonly used by children, but estimates of that use vary widely partly due to the range of questionnaires used to assess CAM use. However, no studies have attempted to appraise measurement properties of these questionnaires. The aim of this systematic review was to critically appraise and summarize measurement properties of questionnaires of CAM use in pediatrics.
Study design
A search strategy was implemented in major electronic databases in March 2011 and conference websites, scientific journals and experts were consulted. Studies were included if they mentioned a questionnaire assessing the prevalence of CAM use in pediatrics. Members of the team independently rated the methodological quality of the studies (using the COSMIN checklist) and measurement properties of the questionnaires (using the Terwee and Cohen criteria).
Results
A total of 96 CAM questionnaires were found in 104 publications. The COSMIN checklist showed that no studies reported adequate methodological quality. The Terwee criteria showed that all included CAM questionnaires had indeterminate measurement properties. According to the Cohen score, none were considered to be a well-established assessment, two approached the level of a well-established assessment, seven were promising assessments and the remainder (n = 87) did not reach the score’s minimum standards.
Conclusion
None of the identified CAM questionnaires have been thoroughly validated. This systematic review highlights the need for proper validation of CAM questionnaires in pediatrics, which may in turn lead to improved research and knowledge translation about CAM in clinical practice.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039611
PMCID: PMC3387262  PMID: 22768098

Results 1-4 (4)